Unmasking Food Adulteration: Public Health Challenges, Impacts and Mitigation Strategies

Wisdom Ebiye Sawyer1

Sylvester Chibueze Izah2,Email

1Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, 560103, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
2Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa, 560221, Bayelsa state, Nigeria.



Food adulteration is a complex and urgent public health issue that requires prompt attention. Foodborne infections are a major public health risk from this deceitful technique. Food adulteration is the intentional addition of contaminants or substandard ingredients to deceive consumers or minimise production costs. The paper focuses on various aspects of food adulteration including chemical and biological contaminants, symptoms, hospitalisation and mortality rates, and public health infrastructure pressure. Bacteria, viruses, parasites, heavy metals, pesticides, and toxic compounds or substances can cause adulteration. Some of the food that are commonly adulterated include milk, species, vegetable oil, fruit juice, olive oils, meats, seafoods. Butter, ice cream, bread etc. Some of the commonly reported adulterants in food include calcium carbide, detergent, hypo, potash, urea, colour, etc. These pollutants can induce gastrointestinal discomfort to serious organ damage, putting public health at risk. Foodborne illness symptoms from adulteration differ by contaminant. Furthermore, when contaminants are particularly harmful or susceptible populations are harmed, deaths can occur. Due to poverty in some region of the world and the quest to maximize profit some food vendors intentionally add toxicants to food. Therefore, given the rise of food adulteration, especially in poor areas, this issue should be addressed. Preventive and mitigating interventions include strict regulatory measures, consumer education initiatives, transparent labelling, and stakeholder collaboration. These activities are essential to public health and global food security.

Unmasking Food Adulteration: Public Health Challenges, Impacts and Mitigation Strategies