Need more awareness on food safety
Post by RK News on Wednesday, July 12, 2023
In summers street food is appealing but the lack of hygiene and quality of the ingredients used are the main drawbacks of any street meal. In the past, there have been sea changes in the eating habits of the people especially among younger lot. These days most of the people love to eat outside and cherish the delicacies of street foods. There are many ready- to-eat foods that are always available in the market. Over the years many food out lets and small joints have come up in the valley as well. With the mushrooming of these food parks and small joints in the valley, there is a greater need to maintain a watch and ensure that the food served is hygienic and healthy. The menu is elaborate as takeaways and fast food sell like hot cakes. While a variety of food joints in the city serve the people, there is also a significant increase in the number of smaller joints and fast food stalls across the valley, particularly concentrated near tourist and commercial places. Noodles, omelets, burgers, rolls, pattis, pizzas, north Indian chat, vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, baked food – it is a long list that is served to people. While people are lured by the palatable aroma and yummy looks of the street food, what they often miss is the kitchen story. Not only does unhygienic food gets served to people, but also some foods containing carcinogenic additives and other harmful agents that are strictly advised against by doctors and healthcare professionals. This is a highly alarming situation that needs to be checked as soon as possible. There are two things that become apparent. One that the food habits have certainly changed and there is a large population who consume ready-made, takeaway or street food. Even if the population of UT is excluded, we still have thousands of travelers and tourists who consume such food. Two, the condition of health care system in J&K needs no explaining. While the watch on restaurants, kitchens, preparatory stalls and street vendors seems viable, it seems a little bit hard for packaged food. In any case the authorities and the government must put into effect a working mechanism to ensure that unhealthy food does not reach the UT in the first place. And if the food or any part of it is prepared within the valley, the authorities must flush these violators out and punish them. People should also need to have the basic food safety knowledge in order to avoid unhygienic food. It is the collective responsibility of every citizen to maintain healthy food habits and hygiene practices.