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October 24, 2010

Sale of unhygienic foodstuff goes on

National

October 24, 2010

Rawalpindi
The district health department has not come up with success so far in checking sale of unhygienic foodstuff particularly at local restaurants, bakers, confectioners and a number of refreshment centres in almost all local markets of the town.
Most of the local restaurants in the town have been either operating in highly unhygienic conditions or selling unhygienic foodstuff while majority of bakers, confectioners and refreshment centres are using substandard foodstuff including edible oil and ‘ghee’ to prepare different products including variety of sweets.
Health experts say that with the onset of cold weather, the consumption of chips, cookies, crackers, prepared baked goods like pizzas and a variety of fried food including ‘samosas’, roasted chicken and fish might witness a significant increase. They say that proper check on quality of such products on sale in town at the moment might save public from a number of diseases and as well would help lowering the burden of patients in public sector hospitals in the season to come.
The district health department has launched a number of campaigns against sale of unhygienic foodstuff at local restaurants and vendors however least attention has been ever given to check sale of unhygienic stuff on sale at confectioners and bakers in the town. “Most of the fried foodstuff on sale in almost all markets of town is being fried in substandard edible oil or in cheap ‘banaspati ghee’ which has highly adverse effects on human health,” said Dr. Sohail Tariq, a private practitioner in Saddar.
He like many other health experts believes that over 90 per cent of the vendors and refreshment centres selling ‘samosas’, ‘pakoras’, fried chicken, fish, burgers and other like stuff are using substandard foodstuff to prepare their products.
It is important that most of such business set-ups have been operating in unhygienic conditions. There are a number of complaints about unhygienic

conditions of factories of even renowned bakers and confectioners in town yet the district health department has done a little on the subject.
“We have planned to launch at least a week-long campaign against sale of substandard and unhygienic foodstuff mainly on bakers, confectioners and refreshment centres,” said District Food Inspector Rana Ghulam Murtaza when contacted by ‘The News’.
He added that his team would launch the campaign from Monday. “During the campaign, we would collect samples of foodstuff on sale and would send those to Public Analyst Laboratory in Lahore for quality checking.” He said that his department would also fine restaurants, bakers, confectioners, shopkeepers and vendors on the spot under food act for serving unhygienic foodstuff, cold drink or water or for doing business in unhygienic conditions.
Many senior citizens, however, believe that the district health department should work on permanent basis on the subject of checking sale of unhygienic foodstuff to avoid public from a number of diseases as a week-long campaign might not be able to check the phenomenon.

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