Dhaka, Bangladesh
None to check sales of unhygienic food

Editorial

None to check sales of unhygienic food

It seems there is none in the government to see what is happening in wayside restaurants or what vendors sell in the name of food openly. According to sources, 2,000 of some 5,000 restaurants in the capital do not have trade licenses. Against this backdrop the government should conduct drives in the capitalís restaurants, where food items are prepared and served in unhygienic conditions. That people are being forced to consume low quality food items from restaurants in the absence of the proper enforcement of the law is worrying. Consumption of the same is exposing them to food poisoning, contamination and other health hazards. Selling of low quality food items is nothing new in this country. Successive governments have failed to check this growing menace. In fact, people are hostage in the hands of the dishonest restaurant owners and other food sellers who are thriving cashing in on the helplessness of the former. Thousands of people are taking these food items not knowing what a danger they are inviting for themselves. It is surprising to note how this malpractice is going on under the nose of the law enforcement agency personnel. Drives against this malpractice are conducted once in a blue moon; after that things go back to the square one.††† Besides, scores of impoverished people make a living by selling substandard food items near the streets and pavements in the capital. Consumers of these food items are mostly the people of low income groups, particularly rickshaw-pullers. They have hardly any choice regarding intake of food. The ingredients for making these food items, including water, are not at all safe for health. Many people cannot undergo proper medical treatment due to financial constraints. The entire family suffers for the ailing member of the family. According to an ICDDRB study report, about 50 percent of the food sold in the streets tested was contaminated with various bacteria that may cause cholera, diarrhoea and even kidney failure. Holy Ramzan is approaching. During this month petty traders are likely to sell low quality iftar items, jeopardizing the health of the consumers. The sellers of the low quality foods should also be brought under the vigilance net in the interest of public health. Awareness should also be created against consumption of such unhygienic and unsafe foods. There should be no compromise where public health is concerned.

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