In view of the rising number of street food points and vendors offering delicious fast food as well as to check food adulteration in the city, a five-member team led by food inspector Deepshree inspected several food points at Sakchi and Bistupur. Those violating the norms were warned. The food was not protected from flies and dust. Infections are not uncommon.
She said the department was aware of the growing number of vendors cooking food on the streets. In view of rising seasonal diseases with the onset of Monsoon, steps are being taken to ensure food served on the streets are best in the quality.
The department had to intervene to make the owner take corrective steps, he added.
A health official said that: “It is not correct to say that the food cooked by vendors is unhygienic. But one worry is that the food prepared in an open street where there is high vehicular movement brings with it health concerns. Also, the re-use of oil is a concern, including in middle level hotels”.
He stressed the need for a coordinated effort by the food cell, civic bodies and police to check the quality of food being sold in all eateries, including those sold by vendors. The Food Safety wing did not have sufficient manpower to enforce the rules.
It would need the support of the civic bodies and the police, he added.
For the civic authorities, street food kiosks pose a challenge as they generate large quantities of solid waste. Even after being given strict instructions to place bins for customers to dispose of plates and food waste, many owners did not comply with the rule.
Prior to this, the health department in the district has been only collecting samples of sweets and other edible items and so far refrained from collecting fruit samples.
“We want to maintain vigil, as such an on the spot test is being conducted for the first time. The sellers purchase vegetables from wholesalers who use chemicals for artificial ripening and also use colours which have health hazards. During testing if the sample report is positive we will conduct raids at wholesale dealers,” said the official.