Food safety and public health implications of growing urban food markets

Core message

Currently, Africa suffers from the highest per capita rate of foodborne illnesses in the world. The riskiest foods from a health perspective are animal-source foods, fruits, and fresh vegetables. Consumption of all these is growing rapidly in African cities. Food products sold in formal markets and retail outlets are not necessarily safer than those sold in informal markets. Improvements in urban food safety will require intentioned investments in domestic market infrastructure and improved awareness of the shared responsibility to provide safe food by regulators and value chain actors.

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