Food safety problems still pose a serious threat globally. The WHO predicted as many as 2 millions of children die every year due to unsafe foods. Also in Indonesia, food safety problem is serious as there are still food poisoning cases or diseases caused by unsafe food.
“There are still many foods getting contaminated by bacteria, toxins, or hazardous chemicals circulating in Indonesia,” said observer of food safety from UGM, Prof. Dr. Ir. Endang Sutriswati Rahayu, on Thursday (12/11) at UGM.
The professor in Agricultural Technology UGM said food safety in Indonesia showed increasing trends remembering business players are aware of such an issue.
“Even so, there is still some homework to be done immediately,” she said.
One of the issues to be followed up is pollution related to foods in micro and middle scale business due to the technology that has not been utilised optimally and educated human resource.
“Business players have to pay attention to safety requirements and standards so public health is not at stake,” she said during the National Health Day on 12 November 2015.
Data from Food and Drugs Agency showed that between 2001-2013 there were 54 percents of household level industry already having registration numbers of all 1,835 households being surveyed in 2011. The figure in 2012 increased to 59 percents and in 2013 to 67 percents. Thus, some 33 percents have not implemented good practices in household level industry.
“The fact is that 99 percents of food products in the market are the products of small and medium scale businesses,” she said.
In spite of government’s measures in food controlling, the lady who is often called Trisye urged society to be involved directly in securing the safety of the foods they consume.
Trisye added food safety was a shared responsibility, including for higher learning. Hence, UGM Agricultural Faculty is contributing to addressing food safety challenges by strengthening research in that area. The Faculty already set up the Center of Excellence on Mycotocxin Studies on 18 September 2015.
“This centre of excellence is expected to help increase the quality and safety of food products, especially for small and middle scale businesses,” she concluded.