Tasty but not healthy
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Tasty but not healthy

Post by Rising Kashmir on Monday, September 19, 2022

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With the mushrooming of food outlets and small joints in the UT, there is a greater need to maintain a watch and ensure that the food served is hygienic and healthy. These days most of the people love to eat outside and cherish the delicacies of street foods. The menu is elaborate as takeaways and fast food sell like hot cakes. Over the years,  a variety of food joints have come up in the city and serve the people, the residents, there is also a significant increase in the number of smaller joints across the UT, particularly concentrated near tourist and commercial places. Takeaways like omelets, burgers, rolls, pattis, noodles, 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. Many a time, not only does unhygienic food gets served to people, but also some foods containing ingredients that are strictly advised against by doctors and healthcare professionals.  Experts are of the opinion that the food habits have certainly changed and there is a large population who consume ready-made, takeaway or street food. Even if the UT population is excluded we still have thousands of travelers and tourists who consume such food. Further, the condition of health care system in J&K needs no explaining. Thus, the apprehension of the food safety as such is valid and there must be a tight vigil maintained by the concerned department. 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 to the people in the first place. Unfortunately in J&K, ignorance is largely responsible for unabated health risks due to unhygienic or contaminated food. There is little to no attention paid by consumers to check before buying or consuming important details like manufacturing date, expiry date, storage or use. In this regard Joint programmes by the municipal corporation, FCS&CA and health department can prove advantageous than individual efforts to create awareness and fight counterfeits, misbranded food items, spurious and adulterated food contents, unhygienic conditions of food joints and several issues related to food safety.

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