WHO Europe offers guidance for safe food in traditional markets

The report contains guidance on the promotion of safe and healthy food in traditional markets in the World Health Organization European Region.

Such markets are important sources of food for millions in the WHO European Region but they have also been associated with foodborne and zoonotic outbreaks, including COVID-19.

In traditional markets, the food sold usually includes products like fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and beverages.

Example issues and mitigation measures Short term action to minimize the risk of cross-contamination between live animals, RTE food and humans includes veterinary supervision of animal slaughter and separating areas for selling and slaughtering from those open to the public.

Quick ways to improve management of food safety incidents and emergencies include developing and testing procedures for recalling and withdrawing potentially contaminated food.

Short term action to address weak enforcement of regulatory requirements includes establishing a list of businesses in the market and categorize them according to food safety and non-compliance risk and creating an inspection record system to use as a basis for doing risk-based food inspections.

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