Although there have been major nutritional improvements in the South East Asian Region since the 1990s, the same cannot be said for food safety. For a large percentage of the people of the South East Asian Region, gaining access to safe food remains a major obstacle.
Foodborne diseases are common in most South East Asian countries. Microbiological contamination of food and water is a major cause of diarrheal illness and deaths.
Factors contributing to human health concerns include inadequate access to clean water, increased use of pesticides and chemicals in agriculture and food processing, and the lack of producer and consumer education. Rapid growth of the urban population and wide-spread reliance on street-vended food also aggravate food safety problems.
In South East Asian countries with the regulatory framework for monitoring food control, enforcement is often weak, owing to inadequate infrastructure and staffing
Consumer organizations in the Region
Consumer organizations in the South East Asian Region have identified their major projects as developing national food-safety standards, conducting comparative food product tests, advocacy to improve access to safe, nutritious, and affordable food, and adoption of laws to improve the safety of street food.
For the most recent news and alerts from the Southern Asia Region, visit the Safe Food International Regional News website. Read about the following topics from the region:
- Southeast Asia Food/Waterborne Illness Outbreaks
- Southeast Asia Food Safety Studies
- Southeast Asia Food Safety Policy Issues
- Animal/Plant Health Issues
For more information about the Southern Asia Region, see the SFI publication Global & Local.