Eating food at the roadside?Food Safety is an issue

If you frequently eat foods at roadside, you must know that street food is not always safe for human consumption.Lip-smacking chaat items like Panipuri to Non-veg and vegmomos don’t follow any food regulations. Fillings of mouthwatering samosa and panipuri may contain coliform bacteria. The presence of coliform indicates the faecal matter in water.Faecal matter has been in the popular tamarind water used for panipuri. Low quality food colors are being used to make food items colorful.

As per the study recently conducted by the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition, Pusa, New Delhi,Most probable number(MPN) of coliform bacteria is 2400 /100mlin street food. According to the Central Pollution Control Board, Most probable number(MPN) should be 50 /100 mlor less. Coliform can cause Diarrhea. Besides Coliform, Salmonella spp, Bacillus spp are commonly found in contaminated street foods.

There is an increase in food borne diseases in recent years. Most food-borne illness has created from street salads. Cut fruits and mouldy vegetables may create various gastrointestinal diseases. Cut fruits and fruit juices are prone to contamination. Contaminated fruits and vegetables can lead to food poisoning. Vomiting and abdominal cramps are very common symptoms

Reasons:

Street vendors don’t have any food safety knowledge. They make foods in open air. Foods are always exposed to dust and dirt. So,street foods are contaminated easily by various microorganisms.
Cleaning is a big issue in street foods. Unhygienic food handling and processing welcomes bacteria. Street vendors don’t wash their hand and platesproperly.Contaminated water is being used to make foods and washing plates. Street vendors also use newspapers to wrap and serve their food items. The newspaper ink may leak and create health hazards. FSSAI banned the use of newspaper for packing food products.

Measures:

Food Safety Standards and Authority of India (FSSAI), food regulator in India has decided to ensure street food safety. Food vendors are food business operators (FBO) under FSSAI guidelines. In India, the Food Safety & Standards Act of 2006 covers food items and regulates their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import for safe human consumption.

According to the Act, any person who manufactures or processes any food item in unhygienic or unsanitary conditions shall be liable to a penalty up to Rs 1 lakh. Harmful food which may cause death can also get the seller imprisoned. 

Gujarat has been following a street food safety model since 1979. They have applied food safety model in many districts. They monitor street foods at regular intervals.

Wearing gloves and cleaning may prevent food contamination in some extent.  Proper training should be given to the street vendors to ensure food safety in street foods. Food safety awareness campaign may reduce this issue.In March 2016, FSSAI launched a program “Clean street food’ to  create food safety awareness among street food vendors.Under the project,FSSAI trained more than 20000 street food vendors.

It’s very important for you to keep safety in mind .Avoid street foods. Eat right and stay safe.
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