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WHO statement relating to international travel and trade to and from countries experiencing outbreaks of cholera

Embargoes on food products


WHO does not advise implementation of embargoes or similar restrictions on trade related to countries affected by cholera outbreaks Food produced under good manufacturing practices poses only a negligible risk for cholera transmission, and there is currently no evidence that food commercially imported from affected countries has been implicated in outbreaks of cholera in importing countries. The isolated cases of cholera that have been related to imported food have been associated with food which had been in the possession of individual travellers. Countries experiencing cholera outbreaks are therefore advised to ensure that individual travellers leaving the country are fully informed of WHO's recommendation not to carry unprocessed food with them, and thereby contribute to prevent the spread of cholera to other countries. Countries may accordingly consider discarding unprocessed food products carried by travellers from areas experiencing such outbreaks. The importance of food safety systems of locally produced as well as imported food should be realized and ensured. Embargoes on properly processed food imports have been shown to be ineffective in the control of cholera, and are therefore viewed as unnecessary.