The citizens have the rights in any society to get their food in line with their own capabilities, and the food to be healthy, and suitable for consumption. The safety and quality of food is a priority concern of citizens because of its impact on the quality of life and health. The harmful, polluted or spoiled food intake may lead to diseases, hence the citizen is expecting that there will be a protection against dietary risks throughout the food chain, starting from producers and ending with consumers (often referred to as the chain from farm to table). The protection will not be achieved unless all chain sectors operate in an integrated manner, are effective and dealing with all stages of the chain.
A study conducted by the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (2009) indicated that Gaza governorates suffer from food insecurity reaching a level of (56%), while the West Bank experienced (25%) of food insecurity, and that the proportion of households food-insecurity in the governorates of Gaza rose to (76%) as a result of the Israeli blockade. These results were strengthened by findings of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics results’ from (2013) in which it was known that more than 800 thousand citizens in the Gaza governorates are suffering from food insecurity.
IOSH noticed during the implementation of community-based activities in the field of public safety, that there is a weakness in the control of production and industrial sectors related to the food industry specifically where this role is based on some exclusive parties, and that there is an abuse in the use of agricultural pesticides, the cleanliness of food products which was classified as threatening risks to the health and safety of the Palestinian citizen.
A community capable of identifying needs and testing its capabilities in developing and securing healthy food for all society sectors
- Contributing in the determination of the basic principles of food safety and health.
- Preparing curriculums based on hazard analysis of contamination and critical control point (HACCP).
- Enhancing the safety and health conditions of food, in operations of processing, manufacturing, and food commodities.
- Identifying, testing and using of proper food and health guidelines.
- Educating people who deal with food, either directly or indirectly, in the aspects of food hygiene to a level appropriate to the operations they carry out.
- Encouraging the raise of the level of health, legal, and administrative supervision of all individuals engaged in activities related to food.
- Creating manuals and guidelines:
- About agricultural and livestock production.
- And other advertising materials to raise awareness among civilians in the area of consumer protection.
- Providing consultations:
- On the principles and guidelines on the conduction of microbiological risk assessments.
- On risk assessments in agricultural productivity and food environment.
- On the creation of innovative ideas to meet the food shortage gaps.
- On the advocacy and lobbying of civil institutions in consumer protection.
- In strengthening the supervisory role of executive authorities on factories and products.
- Of related staff members to work on how to use proper devices for food testing.
- To strengthen the operational and scientific role in the food control processes.
- Conducting studies:
- Related to the level of food shortages in Gaza Governorates.
- And using statistical data related to food contamination in its various forms, and diseases transmitted through food.
- Partnerships with the executive authorities and community organizations interested in food security.