Towards a one health food safety strategy for palestine: a mixed-method study

Abukhattab, S. and Kull, M. and Abu-Rmeileh, N. M. and Cissé, G. and Crump, L. and Hattendorf, J. and Zinsstag, J.. (2022) Towards a one health food safety strategy for palestine: a mixed-method study. Antibiotics (Basel), 11. p. 1359.

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Introduction: Foodborne diseases, together with increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR), pose a threat to public health in an era of huge challenges with climate change and the risks of zoonotic epidemics. A One Health approach to foster food safety is a key for improvement, particularly in complex socio-ecological systems such as in Palestine, to examine human-animal-environment interfaces and promote intersectoral action. Objectives: This study aimed to assess food safety from farm to public health toward an operational One Health strategy for Palestine. This study evaluates the food production (broiler production) and monitoring system to better understanding the zoonotic foodborne illnesses transmission and their resistance to antimicrobials. Methods: The transdisciplinary approach included multi-stakeholder discussion groups and field visits to broiler farms, slaughterhouses, and meat stores in the Ramallah and Al-Bireh and Jerusalem districts using a semi-structured observational tool. A survey with 337 poultry producers and workers in slaughterhouses and meat stores was conducted to assess hygiene knowledge, attitudes, and practices during broiler meat production. Results: The stakeholders point out various challenges along the food production chain in Palestine, such as a striking scarcity of public slaughterhouses, insufficient coordination between authorities, a gap between public and private sectors, and inconsistent application of the law. From observations, it appears that, unlike traditional broiler production, the public slaughterhouses and meat markets have effective hygiene, while large-scale farms implement biosecurity measures. Overall, surveyed participants reported that they are aware of zoonotic disease transmission routes and value hygiene standards. Semi-structured observations and survey results are contradictory. Observations indicate poor hygiene practices; however, the vast majority of broiler meat production chain workers claim that hygiene standards are met. Discussion and Conclusions: Our study found that the overuse of antimicrobials, system fragmentation, insufficient infrastructure, a lack of regulations and controls, and poor hygiene practices are among the main obstacles to improving food safety in Palestine. Considering the risk of an important human health burden of food-related illnesses, enhancing food safety in Palestine is required using an integrated One Health approach. It is crucial to develop an integrated quality control system for food production along with promoting on-farm biosecurity and antimicrobial stewardship. Infrastructure, especially slaughterhouses and laboratories, must be built, training and education provided, and consumer awareness raised. As an important added value within a One Health strategy for better food safety in Palestine, research should be reinforced and accompany any future development of the food production monitoring system.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Eco System Health Sciences > Ecosystem Services, Climate & Health (Cissé)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Human and Animal Health > One Health (Zinsstag)
UniBasel Contributors:Abukhattab, Said and Kull, Miriam and Cissé, Guéladio and Crump, Lisa and Hattendorf, Jan and Zinsstag, Jakob Z
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:21 Dec 2022 15:17
Deposited On:21 Dec 2022 15:17

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