How many of you have devoured the fast food items at roadside food trucks and stalls? I have.

I am assertive many of us have. But did you notice whether they maintain food safety protocol ? I guess you’ve ignored it too as their items are finger licking good and just as cheap. I am not here to stop you from eating from these roadside stalls, what I can do is create awareness about hygiene and food safety protocols.

A total of 1,20,000 people in India die every year due to foodborne disease, as stated by World Health Organization in 2020. This report also suggests that foodborne diseases are set to increase from 100 million in 2011 to 150-177 million by 2030 in India alone. The numbers are increasing at alarming rate and children and teenagers are at high risk. It is sad yet tragic to know the youth of our country is facing such conditions. Government will have to bear exceeding medical expenses.

To curb the effects of unhygienic practices, Government of India has launched “Swachh Bharat”. This initiative is directly linked to personal, environmental and food hygiene. . Let’s brush up our concepts on various types of hygiene.

Hygiene can be broadly divided into :-

  1. Personal hygiene.
  2. Household hygiene.
  3. Food hygiene.
  4. Environmental hygiene.

Personal hygiene –

Germs are available everywhere in and around us. For those who do not practice cleanliness, provides the perfect breeding ground for germs and microorganisms. Maintaining hygiene on a personal level is a necessity.

Personal hygiene is practiced through following ways – bathing, cleaning mouth, dishes, clothes, hair and nails trim, cleaning of groin areas, wearing clean clothes. The foundation of habits should be laid from an early age.

Household hygiene –

By the name, you can figure it out. Household includes the bed we sleep in, room and house we live in. Proper cleaning of bedding sheets, blankets, sweeping and occasional cleaning plays role in maintaining the cleanliness of our house. For the food stalls and trucks, it’s their trucks and stalls where the compact spaces tend to capture smoke and grit more easily. Hence, the countertops require cleaning on a frequent basis.

Food hygiene –

One of most common disease is caused due to food contamination. We all know how contamination happens. The ready toeat food must be covered at all times, so that flies do not fall on them. The flies act as vectors and carry disease causing agents. Using contaminated water or sea foods from these waterbodies can lead to chemical poisoning.

Did you know food covered in plastic packages have cancerous elements in them? It is the plastic packaging that extends the shelf life of the products, but reduce ours.

Food prepared for public consumption should follow strict standards. The cooks should properly wash the fresh items, use clean water, wear gloves to avoid direct contact with the food. There are standard protocols for sanitation procedures of hands, utensils and food items. Indian government sanctioned crores of fund under the “Swachh Bharat” initiative. But only 10 % of the funds reach the citizens of the country. It is our responsibility as well to maintain hygiene while preparing food for mass consumption.

Environmental hygiene –

The surroundings in which we live in is called the environment. The streets, parks, public transportation, lakes and rivers all make up for the environment. Enjoying a clean and pleasant environment is our right. Hence, keeping it clean and healthy is our duty. But as we grow old, we get consumed by worldly matters and have less time to think about our environment.

Keeping our neighborhood prevents from disease spreading. It gives aesthetically pleasing view. Municipality bears the responsibility of collecting and treating the wastes.   Community cleanup days is an amazing initiative in the village of Mawlynnong of Meghalaya.

Our grandparents knew great deal of sanitation procedures despite less technological advancements at their age. Perhaps we can take a note of that. However, you can gobble up lifestyle magazines and videos . They provide step by step tips about hygiene on many levels.

So, will you eat out at the roadside food trucks and stalls?

Featured image source: Image by stockimagefactorycom

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