Over 50pc street foods are contaminated

More than 50 percent of food items and beverages sold on city streets are found contaminated with various groups of bacteria called coliform, said a study.

“More than 50 percent street foods and beverages are contaminated by coliform while more than one- third street foods is unhygienic by faecal pathogen (E.coli),” said the study.

food.png-640The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), an international health research organization, today unveiled the information at a programme at its Sasakawa Auditorium in city’s Mohakhali area.

ICDDR,B conducted the study titled “Behavioral Intervention of Street Food Vendors for Strengthening Street Food Safety in Dhaka City, Bangladesh” with support from the Grand Challenges, Canada and in collaboration with the DSCC, Food and Agricultural Organization, RFL Plastics Ltd, and Bangladesh Consumers Association.

State Minister of LGRD and Cooperative Moshiur Rahman Ranga was the chief guest at the programme while Executive Director of ICDDR, B Professor John D Clemens, Dr Shah Nawaz were also present with ICDDR,B Deputy Executive Director Dr Abbas Bhuiya in the chair.

Ranga said, “Government will implement the Safe Food Act, 2013 soon to stop widespread food adulteration in the country.”

Regarding the purity of WASA water he said, “I can say water of WASA is 100 percent pure to drink and there is no contamination.”

“Hands of 88 percent vendors are stained with germs and about two third vendors carry bacteria in hand while preparing foods,” said Associate scientist of ICDDR,B Dr Aliya Naheed, who led the study.

Speakers at the programme underscored awareness of both vendors and customers to avoid unhygienic foods.

Faecal pathogen (E coli) is a sort of coliform, a group of bacteria found in the human or animal intestinal tract, and may cause health hazards like bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting and occasionally, fever. This can also cause pneumonia, other respiratory illnesses and urinary tract infections, according to health experts.

The study tested different food items of 115 street vendors in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) area between December 2013 and October 2014.

-BSS . Dhaka