Daily scan on street food
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- Published 28.07.10
|People enjoy food at various roadside kiosks on the streets of Bhubaneswar. Picture by Sanjib Mukherjee|
Bhubaneswar, July 27: With the onset of monsoon, the health officials of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) propose to conduct daily raids on roadside eateries.
A four-member squad led by food inspector will make raids twice everyday on roadside shops to check whether the vendors are maintaining proper hygiene or not.
“We need to remain extra-cautious during these three months in the rainy season as it is a vulnerable period for epidemics to break. So, we will start checking the hygienic conditions of the roadside eateries twice a day from tomorrow. Besides these road side eating shops, raids would also be conducted on meat shops and fish markets”, said food inspector Bijoy Patra.
“Suspected food materials would be seized and the owner of the shop would be prosecuted if it is found that the shop is not maintaining hygienic standards,” he added.
As of now, no norms have been set up to regulate and restrict the roadside vendors’ businesses. No survey has been conducted regarding the number of roadside eateries running their businesses in the roads of the city.
There are thousands of roadside vendors serving people popular lip-smacking foods like bara, piaji, samosa, chat, gupchup, guguni, dahi-bara, aludum, and many more. At present, the vendors do not require any license or permission from the authorities to start a business. The city roads are free for anyone to start with any makeshift eatery business.
“The BMC does not have any regulation to provide license or permission to these vendors,” said BMC Health Officer Dr Rajkishore Nanda. “However, to check whether the roadside shops including meat and fish shops are maintaining proper hygiene, and quality of food materials, we conduct raids twice a week, on Wednesday and Friday. We act promptly if any citizen complains about the quality of food served in these shops,” he added.
“I know these food items are not healthy. Still, I have to take food when I am not at home and feel hungry. There is no other way out when I am on the streets of the city,” said Alekh Chandra Sahu, a government employee.
“While taking gupchup and chat I don’t want to think whether it is hygienic or not. If we go on checking the healthiness of every food item, then I am sure we would not be able to eat many items,” said Pravasini Priyadarshini, who runs to Unit-2 market to have some gupchup and a plate of chat.
Physicians also have cautioned people of roadside eateries during rainy seasons. “These vendors never maintain the required level of hygiene. One cannot even expect this from them. If proper sanitation is not maintained at these shops especially during rainy season, people can be exposed to water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, and Hepatitis A and E,” said physician Dr Nirhar Ranjan Samal.