We all enjoy a delicious meal, but is our food also safe for consumption? It can be unsafe due to hidden biological or chemical matter hidden. From sight or smell only, consumers cannot determine whether the food on their plate is safe, but food scientists can. Rikolto conducted food safety studies for fresh fruits and vegetables in Arusha, Iringa and Mbeya in collaboration with Tanzania Plant Health and Pesticides Authority and Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology. The results point at many food safety challenges, with unsafe levels of biological and chemical matter detected in fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables therefore – often unknowingly – exposes people to over 200 diseases such as cancers, food poisoning and typhoid. Food can only become safe when safe practices are employed across the food chain. A lot of work is needed by all actors from farm to plate, hand in hand with strengthening food safety regulations to ensure that the food on our plate, is good food.
Funded by the European Union’s flagship programme AGRI-CONNECT, Rikolto, Agrónomos sin Fronteras, Inades-Formation Tanzania, MIICO Consortium and Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) Mbeya are implementing the project “Building Inclusive and Competitive Horticulture Businesses in Tanzania’s Southern Highlands”. Within the project, Rikolto and its partners are improving food safety throughout the food system in Iringa, Njombe, Mbeya, Songwe and Katavi. We also specifically want to empower 400 youth to take up a game changing role in the food system by strengthening their businesses on food safety and sustainability as part of the Generation Food Accelerator – a business incubator.