18 October 2013 - FAO re-emphasized the need for good hygiene practices to mitigate risks posed by avian influenza viruses and other animal health threats. Juan Lubroth, Chief Veterinary Officer, and Jean-Michel Poirson, Senior Officer, Emergency Prevention Service – Food Safety, provided these views in a statement published by Food Quality and Safety magazine.
Good hygiene is especially critical in the case of H7N9, said Lubroth, where poultry do not display illness and the virus is therefore difficult to detect. Poirson stressed that best hygiene practices implemented at critical points along the food chain from production to consumption represent a key way to safeguard public health, animal health and food safety.
FAO is engaging with the international community to promote long-term investment that can help reduce the threat of avian influenza as well as promote more efficient, productive and lucrative poultry production and marketing systems. These improvements in turn can also benefit livelihoods. Elements include restructuring of live bird markets, training and awareness raising of poultry workers and cross-sector and cross-border collaboration between animal and public health authorities under the One Health approach.