The high incidence of diarrheal diseases among newborns and young children are indications of the food hygiene situation in the African Region. Although outbreaks of acute poisoning are frequent, inadequate surveillance systems hinder governments’ ability to accurately assess the impact of food contamination problems on public health.
While poverty is the underlying cause of consumption of unsafe food in the African Region, other factors, such as lack of access to clean water, weak government structures, population growth, the rise of AIDS and other communicable diseases, trade pressure, and poor environmental conditions exacerbate the situation.
Even if data regarding foodborne diseases in the African Region are extremely scarce, studies have shown that the following pathogens are prevalent: Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, Hepatitis, Brucella, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, and rotavirus.
Consumer organizations in the African Region
Consumer organizations are involved in a variety of food safety activities. Consumer groups run programs to ensure food control and inspection of markets and shops; conduct chemical, bacteriological, and physical analysis of food products; provide supervision to ensure that contaminated foods are withdrawn from the market; and ensure that the government or industry provides consumer notification. Other programs focus on improving the quality of street foods and on consumer training and awareness.
For the most recent news and alerts from the African Region, visit the Safe Food International Regional News website. Read about the following topics from the African Region:
- Africa Food/Waterborne Illness Outbreaks
- Africa Food Safety Studies
- Africa Food Safety Policy Issues
- Animal/Plant Health Issues
For more information about the Sub-Saharan Africa Region, see the SFI publication Global & Local.