Unsafe food causes many severe and enduring ailments, ranging from stomach upsets to diarrhoeal conditions to diverse forms of cancer. According to statistics released by World Health Organization (WHO), food-borne and water-borne diarrhoeal conditions cause the deaths of an estimated 2.2 million people every twelve months, 1.9 million being children (para. 1).
Consequently, food-borne ailments and unsafe food represent a rising public health challenge and efforts must be made towards the development and implementation of programmes aimed at improving food safety at the community level.
Restaurants have been singled out as a major source of unsafe foods largely due to unhealthy food handling, preparation, and storage standards (Rees & Watson 27). In the case scenario, a mandatory food safety training requirement for all employees should be initiated to counter the problem of dirty restaurants, which enhances threats to food safety.
This recommendation is anchored on the rationale that staff workers to a large extent contribute to the health violations associated with unsafe food. A review conducted recently on restaurant food safety practices demonstrated “…that a typical kitchen worker cross-contaminates food with potentially dangerous pathogens about once per hour” (Norfleet para. 1).
The review found that restaurant workers use aprons and other dirty clothing to dry their hands, as well as making use of the same utensils, gadgets, and surfaces to prepare both uncooked and cooked meals. As such, the focus should be to introduce mandatory employee training especially in areas of food safety to guarantee that appropriate practices in hygiene, food handling and preparation, and sanitation are put in place in every restaurant operating in the community.
As already mentioned, work behaviours may either promote or compromise food safety. The use of aprons and other dirty clothing to dry hands, non-washing of hands with clean water and soap, using the same services to prepare uncooked and cooked food, and non-observance of kitchen hygiene may compromise food safety (Norfleet para. 5). However, strict observance of hygiene and sanitation practices, including washing of hands, preparation of food in safe places, and using clean utensils, is bound to promote food safety in the restaurants.
Vectors can be described as “…the transmitters of disease-causing organisms that carry the pathogens from one host to another” (Artsob para. 1), and research reveals that there has been a comeback of vector-borne conditions since the 1970s including the Rift Valley Fever, plague, sleeping sickness, highland malaria, and the West Nile encephalitis.
From the case scenario, there has been an increase in reported cases of encephalitis and a few deaths related to the West Nile Virus as a direct consequence of increased mosquito bites. To prevent bites by mosquitoes that may transmit West Nile Virus, it is highly recommended that people establish physical barriers by using house screens, bed nets, appropriate clothing, and insect repellents (Artsob para. 6).
Many of the disease-causing mosquitoes bite their victims at night and, as such, it is imperative to put physical barriers and wear appropriate clothing during daytime to reduce the risks of infection though bites.
To control the mosquito population in the community, environmental modification geared towards the elimination of specific breeding areas should be recommended. The modification should include draining stagnant water, clearing vegetation close to houses, and using chemical control measures to destroy the larvae or adult vectors (Artsob para. 6). Such a recommendation will go a long way to destabilize the mosquito’s breeding patterns, thus reduce their population in the community.
Artsob, H. Vector-borne Diseases. In: Encyclopaedia of Public Health. (2010). Retrieved 16 Nov 2010
Norfleet, N. Lax Food Safety in Restaurants, Researcher Finds. (2010). Retrieved 16 Nov 2010
Rees, N., & Watson, D. International Standards for Food Safety. Maryland. Aspen Publishers, Inc. 2000
World Health Program. Food Safety. (2010). Retrieved 16 Nov 2010