Foodborne diseases in Malaysia: A review
Posted: December 30th, 2010 - 3:41pm
Source: Food Control
This paper reviews foodborne diseases occurring in Malaysia and the strategies taken by the Malaysian government. Half of the foodborne related diseases from the early 1990s until today were associated with outbreaks in institutions and schools, mostly due to unhygienic food handling procedures. Outbreak surveillance and monitoring, training and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) implementation at food service establishments all play a vital role to prevent and/or reduce foodborne diseases. Some of the key agencies from the Malaysian Ministry of Health, academia, industries and research institutions continue to strengthen their collaboration and networking in order to coordinate the prevention and control of foodborne diseases and thus improve public health. Developments to date have shown improvement in surveillance and monitoring. In Malaysia, the main contributing factor to foodborne diseases was identified as insanitary food handling procedures which accounted for more than 50% of the poisoning episodes. Food handlers play major role in the prevention of food poisoning during food preparation hence, food handler training is seen as one of the main strategy to increase food safety practices. There are 125 accredited food handlers’ training institutes as of September 2010. The application of knowledge and skills from training into the workplace is important and reasons for limitations of training initiatives are discussed.