close
Saturday June 22, 2024

Contaminated water being used in ice, soda factories pose health hazard

By Muhammad Qasim
June 01, 2023

Rawalpindi: With the setting in of summer, almost all ice and soda water factories operating in this region of the country have started production and according to health experts, if the quality of their products is not checked at the time, the population in the region may face serious health threats.

In the past years, it was found that around 60 per cent of the ice and soda water factories were using contaminated water for their production which was proved after testing of water samples through Public Analyst Laboratory. This year, the district health department has yet to launch a campaign under which water samples would be collected from ice and soda water factories for quality assurance. It is a proven fact that the consumption of ice prepared from contaminated water at commercial level and locally prepared soda water cause spread of water-borne infections. The consumption of locally prepared soda water and ice being prepared at commercial level has already increased. In every summer, water and food-borne infections like diarrhea, dysentery, gastroenteritis and hepatitis A&E hit population in the region and the allied hospitals in town have to bear extraordinary burden of patients both in wards and at outpatient departments.

Experts say that it is time to take necessary preventive measures to avoid like infections as in summer, certain bacteria grow more rapidly making water and food products highly unfit for use if they are not kept in hygienic conditions. The sale of products of ice and soda water factories has already been going up though the concerned government authorities have yet to give attention to the issue of ensuring standard hygienic conditions at the factories operating in the district. It is observed that majority of soda water factories and local cold drink manufacturers use huge sized coverless containers to store locally prepared sweetener and one can witness the containers covered with thousands of flies. Also majority of ice and soda water factories give least attention to keep working areas clean and the condition in which they work can not be termed hygienic. Majority of these factories give little attention to use of safe and clean drinking water for their production. The district health department is planning to launch a special campaign from the next week to ensure hygienic conditions at the ice and soda water factories operating in the district, said District Officer Health Dr. Ehsan Ghani while talking to ‘The News’ on Tuesday. He said the teams of health department would collect water samples from ice and soda water factories for analysis.

He added the teams of health department would ensure usage of safe and clean drinking water at the factories and health department would not hesitate in sealing ice and soda water factories using contaminated water for their production.