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Food Safety in Natural Disasters

Natural disasters can have serious public health consequences in the days and weeks following a disaster. Choose a recent major natural disaster such as Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast of the United States, the tsunami disaster in Japan, or recent earthquakes in the world. Based on what you've learned in this module, what sorts of health problems do you think were created in terms of food safety in the days and weeks following these disasters?

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Food safety in the days and weeks following natural disasters such as hurricane Sandy, tsunamis, or earthquakes is critical to protect public health. Foodborne illnesses are frequently reported due to contamination of food sources. These illnesses my include diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, hepatitis A and typhoid fever (WHO, n.d.). The destruction of sanitation facilities and rising flood waters are often responsible for food contamination. Movement of raw sewage into areas growing or storing food results in bacterial contamination of food items. With lack of disinfecting or cleaning sources, canned or bottled items can still become dangerous if opened. Exposures to the outside of product may be transferred internally when the product is ...

Solution Summary

Natural disasters present special challenges during and after occurrence. Providing adequate supplies to sustain people in the disaster zone is a major part of that challenge. Contamination is widespread and a public health hazard.