Let’s face it – we all know street food is unhygienic. But they’re irresistible – the mere thought of delicious pani puris, aloo tikkis, and the steamed momos make our mouth water. What’s more, they’re way cheaper!
But now, we urge you to be careful. No, we are not telling you to avoid the street food (that’s unthinkable!) – but instead we ask you to take a look around and observe before having the vada pav.
“Contamination is the greatest challenge for food safety in India”
-Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)
Why? Because a new study conducted by Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa (IHM) tested samples from popular street food joints across Delhi , showed that E.Coli is commonly found in street food. This diarrhea-causing bacteria thrives happily in high temperature, while we gobble down our next pani puri , blissfully unaware of the micro-organism’s existence in our morsel.
Don’t get us wrong, we love street food as much as you. But we just wonder, what would happen if someone were to test the street food in front of you?
So this summer, we bring you some tips that you need to keep in mind, so that the next time you eat street food, you don’t fall ill –
Check the vendor serving you : Don’t stare at him unblinkingly, but rather look at how he’s keeping his hands and stall clean. We can’t know how many times he exchanged currency notes (from the deepest pockets!) and became a carrier of bacteria.
Ensure your plate is clean: It’s not just the food that could be the main culprit for your inflamed intestines – it could be the vessels too. If you see some dirt or oil sticking to your plate, get it replaced, or if that’s not possible, use a wipe or a napkin.
Don’t just look at the food: Although you’re in a hurry when eating street food, and have your eyes fixed on the delicious looking aloo tikki, take your eyes off the food for some time and see how the food is being cooked. The surroundings, ingredients, garnishing, and the oil pan – are they all looking fine? Additionally, avoid asking for raw onions as garnishing unless it’s cut fresh in front of you.
Cut out the cut fruits: Scorching sun overhead, tempting watermelons cut neatly in a stall nearby. A tough choice, really. Unfortunately, they are most prone to bacteria and dirt in and around, and should be avoided.
The juicy matter: We love to ask for “ice-ke-saath” fruit juice in this scorching heat , but we never ask where the ice is coming from. Often times, we make sure that the fruit is cut fresh, but don’t notice the dirt around the mixer/juicer. And also, the water in the tub for washing the mugs should not look like it has washed hundreds of mugs in one go!
Thus, eating street food without being careful is like having lots of bad microbes living in our body uninvited. The Food Safety Month 2016 aims to convey the same message – about healthy eating and storage practices.
Learn about food safety, participate and win exciting prices from the comfort of your home!