Substandard food items spreading viral diseases in Pakistan

12th of June 2014
Substandard food items spreading viral diseases in Pakistan

The sale of sub-standard street food items prepared in unhygienic conditions is among the major causes of diseases in Islamabad in summer, according to a report.

Many of the vendors in the Pakistani city are said to observe poor hygiene standards when handling the utensils used to serve edibles to customers.

A large number of stalls and carts carrying Items such as cold drinks, ice creams, lollies, fruit juices and snacks spring up in the city during the summer months. These are often situated at bus stops, on roadsides and outside schools and hospitals.

Dr Tahir Rashid claims the number of infectious diseases in the city increases by around 50 per cent in summer due to the sale of unhygienically-prepared food and drinks. And he says there should be an immediate ban on the sale of unhygienic foodstuffs, especially in markets and in shopping centres.

Health authorities tackling the issue claim that vendors' utensils and bottles can transmit a range of bacteria and viruses including typhoid, diarrhoea, throat infections and abdominal diseases plus more serious conditions such as hepatitis.

Local shopkeeper Nasir Khan confirms that the number of vendors selling sub-standard food items has increased in Islamabad markets and shopping centres. "The heavy presence of vendors selling fruits and other merchandise on narrow streets are not only causing spread of viral diseases, but are also the main source of congestion," he said.



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