Research -Food Safety Issues Related to Eating In and Eating Out

MDPI

Because of growing urbanization and lack of time to prepare meals at home, eating out or getting food delivered have become common trends for many people. The consumption of food from unknown sources may impose an increased chance of contamination with microbiological hazards, especially if sanitary conditions are not met. We evaluated data from health surveillance agencies and scientific articles on foodborne diseases (FBD) reported internationally according to the exposure sites. We observed that the data are influenced by cultural, political, and socioeconomic differences. For instance, in New Zealand, Australia, United States, Denmark and India, the occurrence of FBD outbreaks was greater from foods prepared in commercial establishments and street vendors than from households. Conversely, in China, countries of the European Union and Brazil, the results are the opposite. Additionally, the pandemic imposed new eating behaviour patterns, increasing delivery services and foods prepared in so-called “Dark Kitchens”. The underreporting and heterogeneity of data among countries prevented a precise conclusion to the question of whether homemade foods are inherently safer than foods prepared out. Nevertheless, a lower level of development in a country influences its sanitation conditions, as well as the number of street food vendors, the search for cheaper foods, and insufficient knowledge of the population on good hygiene practices, which can all increase the chances of FBD cases.

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