Street Food H2 Factors Part 2

Street Food H2 Factors  Part 2

Street Food - H2 Factors - Part 2.H2 factors related to street food include health and hygiene. The personal hygiene of the vendors, the health of the customers, and environmental hygiene are also concerns.

Dr Abdul Razak MohamedH2 factors related to street food include health and hygiene. The personal hygiene of the vendors, the health of the customers, and environmental hygiene are also concerns. The factors are a public health policy, a trade policy. Street food is easy on the wallet and attracts most of the city population. Street food vendors are often poor, uneducated, and lack knowledge in handling food safely, environment, sanitation and hygiene, mode of service and hand washing, sources of raw materials, and use of potable water. They pose a health risk.

Street-vendors comprise a significant part of the urban food supply; and the food on offer is diverse, anything from meat to vegetables can be had. Infrastructure development is relatively limited with restricted access to potable water, toilets, refrigeration and washing and waste disposal facilities. The other problems are lack of access to inspection and laboratory analysis, lack of factual knowledge about the microbiological status or the precise epidemiological significance of many street-vended foods.

There are many studies in India and abroad that have found out that vendors have very poor or little knowledge on food safety concepts such as personal hygiene, food contamination and good manufacturing procedures and waste management.As a public health issue, it is important to understand the epidemiology of food borne illnesses that help in prevention and control efforts.

The street food needs to be analysed on various parameters such the content of microbiological contaminants such as coliform, ecoli, yeast and mould, and chemicals such as ash, artificial colour and argemoul oil. The socio-demographic characteristics, common hazards, and occupational hazards of street food vendors, microbial risk associated with street food, food safety interventions and control measures, regulatory aspects and legal requirements, financial constraints, and attitudes.

A study on the hygienic and sanitary practices of street food vendors in Dhaka City Corporation was carried out by FAO 2010, demonstrated that 25 per cent street food vendors are illiterate and have no formal education. They work for 13–18 hours a day without having toilet facilities.

Most of the vending shops (68 per cent) were located on the footpath irrespective of areas surveyed and 30 per cent vending carts were placed near the municipal drain and 18 per cent near the sewerage. Microbiological study of different foods items, drinking water, and hand swab samples showed the prevalence of overwhelmingly high numbers of aerobic bacteria, coliform bacteria, and pathogens Dhaka is among the world’s cities with the highest number of hawkers in Asia.

Cities such as Mumbai (2.5 lakh), Delhi (2 lakh), Calcutta (1.5 lakh), and Bangkok (1 lakh) have similarly large numbers of street vendors Street vendors face a number of livelihood risks because of the legal, physical, and socio-cultural environment in which they work. The most pressing risk is removal and displacement due to elections, mega events, or efforts to beautify cities.

They also face more occupational hazards, fire hazards, expose to air pollution, inclement weather, lift and haul heavy loads of goods, lack proper infrastructure, such as clean running water, toilets, and solid waste removal. These physical risks take a particular toll on young children who must accompany their mothers to vend in the streets. Income and earning risks are also common to many street vendors.

The location of the vending unit should be in a place approved by the local authorities and not blocking traffic or pedestrians or near unhygienic locations. Considering the public health, sanitation and food safety we need to train vendors on the basic principles of sanitation, manufacturing quality and safety besides consumer rights and education.

Provide training to the street food vendors to enable them to voluntarily adopt the hygienic practices to improve the quality of food served. Assist them in getting registered and provide them with identity cards, health checks, Insurance; health cover, life insurance, insurance cover for vending equipment/cart.

Street food should be made accessible to people and the concept of ‘healthy and hygienic street food’ must be promoted. This will give a boost for many urban people with low income to indulge in street food and will, at the same time, ensure that hawkers earn their livelihood. The third part will focus on the spatial design and planning of street food hubs. Dr. Abdul Razak Mohamed, DEAN of Studies & HOD Planning, School of Planning and Architecture, Vijayawada

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