Unsafe Food Could Lead To Severe Public Health Problems

Unsafe food blog Unsafe food blog
Carine Nkemngong
Sr. Scientist-Food Safety Expert
Sep 22, 2022

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates roughly 48 million foodborne illnesses every year1. Put another way, about one in six Americans suffer from foodborne illness per year2. Foodborne illnesses also account for about 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths per annum in the US1. In contrast, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports an estimated 77 million foodborne illnesses, resulting in about 9,000 deaths per year in the WHO region of the Americas3. This translates to one in ten people per year in the Americas3, compared to one in six in the US2. These odds suggest that most people will take ill from a foodborne pathogen. This is a call to action. We must continue to improve our food safety practices and knowledge sharing, especially for those most vulnerable, such as the young, old, pregnant, and immunocompromised.


Sadly, children under five who represent the leaders of tomorrow are at the greatest risk of suffering from foodborne illnesses. Ensuring that food is safe is a reliable way to secure a healthier tomorrow for people and businesses. In addition to people suffering from foodborne illnesses, food manufacturers, food retail stores, and foodservice operations may suffer from brand damage and food recalls due to unsafe foods. A single food recall accrues an estimated $10 million in direct cost4; an unwanted expense which challenges business profitability and ultimately, sustainability.


Foodborne illnesses and recalls are preventable public health problems. A major food contamination mitigation practice is the strategic implementation of daily standard sanitation practices. Diversey’s mission is to protect and care for people through leading hygiene, infection prevention, and cleaning solutions. We develop and deliver innovative products, services, and technologies that save lives and protect our environment. Over the course of 95 years, the Diversey brand has become synonymous with product quality, service, and innovation. We help protect our customer’s brands by delivering complete food safety packages that include but are not limited to:

  • Rigorous cleaning and sanitation programs delivered via a wide portfolio of chemical formulations and sanitation practices suitable for almost every application. Learn more HERE.
  • Providing effective and easy to use chemical solutions that help ensure compliance with proper sanitation practices
  • Training frontline employees on sanitation best practices
  • Providing food safety consultancy services, hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) and food safety audits.
  • Developing customer assistance programs to implement key components that ensure the safety of food.



  1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Foodborne Germs and Illnesses. CDC. 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/foodborne-germs.html Accessed May 5 2021
  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC and Food Safety. CDC. 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/cdc-and-food-safety.html Accessed May 5 2021
  3. World Health Organization. WHO’s first ever global estimates of foodborne diseases find children under 5 account for almost one third of deaths. WHO. 2015. https://www.who.int/news/item/03-12-2015-who-s-first-ever-global-estimates-of-foodborne-diseases-find-children-under-5-account-foralmost- one-third-of-deaths Accessed May 5 2021
  4. Food Safety Magazine. Recall: The Food Industry's Biggest Threat to Profitability. 2012. https://www.food-safety.com/articles/2542-recall-thefood-industrys-biggest-threat-toprofitability#:~:text=Food%20Recall%20Impact&text=The%20average%20cost%20of%20a,and%20the%20Grocery%20Manufacturers%20Association Accessed May 5 2021.