Food is the basic necessity of mankind for their well-being and nourishment. Raw vegetables, fruits and other food commodities are the potential source of carbohydrates, Protein, Minerals, Vitamins (A, B, C, E, D & K), fibre and fluid.
For a healthy diet, public is inspired to take fresh vegetables. A few vegetables are eaten crude as plate of Salads to hold the characteristic taste and safeguard heat labile supplements. Consumption of raw and green vegetables reduce the risk of Heart diseases e.g. blood pressure etc, and a few types of cancers. We use vegetables and salads routinely two to three times a day.
But, they are contaminated with lots of parasites, which we can not see by naked eye. The utilization of raw vegetables without appropriate washing, is a critical source in the transmission of parasitic infections. So, some of these parasites have potential to infect humans and ultimately lead to serious health issues, sometimes cases are much severe, and it led to death of host.
Causes of Parasitic Transmission
One of the major reasons of parasitic transmission is transport of vegetables in contaminated vehicles. In many developing nations like Pakistan, utilization of inadequately treated wastewater is being used for washing of vegetables by farmers before transmission, and that water is contaminated with various food and water borne parasites like Entamoeba, Acanthamoeba, Giardia, Cryptosporidium and etc.
So, vegetables are contaminated with such organisms and lead to infections in population. During dry period in summer there is more parasite burden because some farmers use agricultural and untreated wastewater for the growth and production of vegetables and fruits. Due to change in human life style now-a-days, peoples eat fast foods and meals on the contrary side, restaurants and Dhabas where the food safety is of little importance.
The diseases can likewise be a family unit undertaking where contaminated youngsters or people give the central wellspring of soil defilement by their stools in the dirt. In the past due to less movement of people parasite was very much region specific but these days due to international travel, the problem become very much critical.
Also, the point to note that vegetables have been shifted from developing to developed countries. In these developing countries, there are not much diagnostic techniques to identify parasites due to many reasons like financial issues and lacking research laboratories. There are no special techniques so variable results.
The national and local authorities should implement the condition to treat the sewage water where the fresh and raw vegetables are grown and eat up. Proper sanitary conditions should be implemented in the areas of vegetable farming. For good sanitary conditions government should provide treated water facilities to farmers in markets. Proper surveys should be done on green vegetables to know the parasite burden.
Media projects ought to illuminate the buyers the potential well-being outcomes of the intestinal parasites through utilization of crude vegetables, furthermore, the significance of legitimate washing. The avoidance of this hazard can be accomplished by an incorporated set of methodologies, which may incorporate legitimate waste water treatment, crop limitation and fitting wastewater application strategy.
Appropriate washing also, sanitization of green vegetables and natural products like fruits before deal and ensuing utilization is urgent to both human and animal well-being, since, they are critical automobile of transmission of disease-causing parasites e.g. protozoa, cestodes, trematodes and nematodes. Farmers should be taught on the hazard to the open related with utilization of sewage-based water for water system.
The utilization of night soil as compost in fields might be tackled by capacity or by chemical sterilization of dung. Moreover, in houses the vegetables that are used must be washed with treated water, before using to avoid intestinal parasites, the studies conducted to check parasites in washed and unwashed vegetables, the prevalence is more in unwashed vegetables.
The sanitization of vegetables is a treatment connected, if vegetables are well treated with antiparasitic compounds, which are human health friendly, like we use different sprays in fields to reduce burden of insects on fruit crops to protect crops and increase the yield of crop.
So we must consider the health of our consumers as the most important thing, government should conduct policies and projects to teach people for food hygiene and their personal hygiene. The disease burden can be reduced in this way and its also better for our physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
Authors: Nauman Iftikhar1, Rao Zahid Abbas1, Zohaib Saeed1, Hammad Ur Rehman Bajwa1, Muhammad Adeel Arshad2
- Department of Parasitology
- Department of Animal Nutrition
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan