Things To Keep In Mind To Check For Street Food Hygiene
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Although people enjoy fancy dining, their hearts remain in the comfort of street food. People love street food owing to its endless options, good quantity, and budget-friendly nature. People can indulge in the comfort of street food all by themselves or share it with their foodie buddies.  

Street foods are available at every corner of the street, whether sold on food carts, small stalls, or food trucks. However, it must be noted that indulging in street food must come with caution. Before you indulge in street food, make sure to check its safety and hygiene. Consuming contaminated food can lead to various digestive problems and impact the overall health. Ingesting food-borne pathogens can lead to fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and others. Thus, it is important to keep certain factors in mind before indulging in street food.   

Take a look at some of them:  

  • Location  

Even though street food will be somewhere on the road, the locality makes a lot of difference.  For instance, if there is a collection of waste or trash and the food stall is located near it, then food from that stall should be avoided. Similarly, the food sold on a stall or cart that is on a high-traffic road should be not be consumed and the food is subjected to high pollution. Besides, if there are open manholes or collected water near the food stall, it is better not to consume food from that stall.  

  • Quality Of Ingredients  

Do not get overwhelmed by the extra quantity or the garnishing. Make sure that the quality of the ingredients is up to the mark Substandard or contaminated ingredients can introduce pathogens and toxins into the food, leading to health risks for consumers. Fresh, high-quality ingredients are less likely to harbour harmful bacteria or other contaminants. For example: If the vendor is using a sauce or butter, keep a check on whether they is using a good quality one and not any substitute that looks like them. 

  • Fresh Food

Always take into account that the vendor is preparing fresh food in front of your eyes. Ensure that food is cooked thoroughly at appropriate temperature to kill harmful bacteria. Also, take into account that vendors also employ proper storage techniques to preserve freshness and prevent spoilage. Do not opt for already-made foods. These already prepared foods can become breeding grounds for food-borne pathogens which can lead to several digestive problems. Also, it must be noted that serving food promptly minimise the risk of bacterial growth. 

  • Houseflies Or Insects  

If you see houseflies or insects moving around the food or raw ingredients, it is advisable to avoid that place. Eating street food does not mean that you have to eat contaminated food that can lead to food poisoning.  They are attracted to the aroma of food and can easily land on exposed items, transferring harmful microorganisms in the process. Houseflies and insects often breed in unsanitary environments such as garbage dumps or sewage, further enhancing the risk of contamination. So, while eating street food, ensure that Effective measures such as covering food are practiced. 

  • Cutlery And Waste Disposal  

Check if the food is served in fresh cutlery or not. It is better to opt for disposal cutlery, as they are not used by other customers. If the food is offered on steel plates, spoons, or glasses, check that they are washed properly. Dirty utensils can lead to cross-contamination and the spread of foodborne illnesses among consumers.  Although many people miss it, it is important to note that chopped veggies, fruits, or meat are covered properly. 

  • Gloves And Other Protective Gear  

If you see the vendor wearing gloves before handing food, that is a good sign of hygiene. However, it is important that these gloves are changed regularly. Wearing gloves creates a barrier between their hands and the food, minimising the risk of contamination from bacteria, viruses, or other harmful substances. It must be noted that they shouldn’t be touching food and money with the same gloves. Another important thing to note is that the vendor is wearing head gear to avoid any hair strands from falling into the food.