It is widely observed that street food vendors across the country use newspapers to wrap food items for takeaway and the food authority has stressed on the grievous health concerns posed by consuming food wrapped in newspapers. FSSAI Western Region, Mumbai along with Chamber for Advancement of Small and Medium Businesses (CASMB) have conducted a survey on 2 December 2022 for food stall vendors using newspapers as packaging material for food items and training for the same was conducted near Chinai College, Andheri (East).
Pritee Chaudhary, IRS, Regional Director, FSSAI WR along with Vaidehi Kalzunkar, Deputy Director (Technical), FSSAI WR and Umesh Kamble, Secretary General, CASMB were present at the event and sensitized the Street Food Vendors on usage of newspapers which are a health hazard and portray a major food safety concern.
The ink and dye on newspapers are toxic to human health and if ingested, can make your body incapable of eliminating toxicants or their metabolites through excretion. It may in fact, keep accumulating and lead to problems related to lungs and kidneys. However, an overdose of chemical solvents in ink can even lead to cancer-related complications.
Through the survey conducted, it was observed that about 36% of stall owners in and around Andheri (East), mostly selling fried food items such as pakoras, samosas, fries, etc. along with rotis or puris use newspapers for wrapping food items for parcel or takeaway. In order to promote and ensure the successful implementation of the training undertaken on good sanitary & hygiene practices, Food safety and hygiene kits, including paper plates, aprons, gloves, nail cutter, head caps and soap were distributed by the food authority.
The enthusiastic participation and feedback from the street food vendors entails a positive training story. Through this initiative, the authority also convinced these FBOs to attain FSSAI registration and received an ardent & affirmative response from the attendees.
FSSAI WR intends to conduct more such training in future for the effective implementation food safety practices across the community.