Visitors to Beijing: WHO Guide Shows How to Avoid Foodborne Illnesses

2008-08-04 09:17 743

BEIJING, Aug. 4 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- The World Health Organization (WHO) and China's Ministry of Health are together promoting travelers' health -- particularly on food safety -- through a brochure and hotline service. The tools were put in place to assist visitors coming to China for the Olympic Games.

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"Foodborne illness is a reality in all parts of the world and travellers can limit their risk by taking simple precautions," WHO China Representative, Hans Troedsson, said. "China has shown strong leadership in strengthening national food safety systems but travellers themselves should wisely ensure that any food safety risks are minimized."

The WHO-Ministry of Health brochure, "A Guide on Safe Food for Travellers," is available at the Beijing airport and over 100 hotels in the city. The brochure sets out simple food safety rules for avoiding or minimizing the risks of becoming ill, including by washing hands before meals, not eating uncooked or undercooked food and avoiding contaminated drinking water (and ice).

For travellers to Beijing who might need further information or assistance, the Ministry of Health has established a hotline number. The call center added 20 English speaking medical student volunteers to handle calls during the Games. The Beijing Food Safety Hotline number is 12320 (from Beijing) or 010-12320 (from outside Beijing).

An estimated 500,000 foreign and 3 million domestic visitors are expected in Beijing during the coming Games which run from 8-24 August.

The guide is part of a series of health promotion campaigns being implemented by the Ministry of Health and Beijing authorities in collaboration with WHO that are designed to promote healthy behaviours, such as ensuring food safety, but also greater physical activity and better nutrition.

"A Guide on Safe Food for Travellers" is available here:

in English

in Chinese

Source: World Health Organization