Roadside eateries in Chennai need hygiene check

Chennai: Mobile food carts have mushroomed by leaps and bounds in the locality, at Mylapore in the city, that a main road without a roadside eatery in a corner seems a thing of the past.

While a few like those on Abhiramapuram Fourth Street in the area function through the day serving hot snacks, several  like those on Luz church road function only till noon serving  tiffin and food .

Individuals who  want to set up a small business of their own but lack adequate capital to launch it mange to set up these eateries  by obtaining a small loan. Customers  mostly labourers and those from lower middle class families flock to these carts for their morning breakfast or noon meal because the cost is  affordable , service quick and they need not have to shell out money for  tips.

But hygiene takes a back seat at these eateries. Many are of the opinion that one should exercise caution while eating at such roadside joints, as they could be a source of diseases as the  level of hygiene they  maintain is low.

The cooking medium used at such joints,  are known to cause problems of gastroenteritis.

Food is exposed to open air, and  there are chances of dust and  insects settling down on the food. People, who favour such roadside eateries, should do a preliminary scan of surroundings and avoid unhealthy fried food items’ said Venkatesh.

Food items that are cooked or  prepared in roadside eateries have been in the most unhygienic and deplorable conditions. Conditions in hostels , canteens , catering facilities   bus stations  and rail stations are even  much worse.

While the serving and eating places appear kept  clean and well maintained ,  kitchen and  store rooms  are in a highly deplorable condition. These are  potential breeding places for bacteria and germs causing health hazards. Customers rarely come to know about the unhygienic  condition of the cooking & storage areas

The Health department of the corporation and civic authorities, elected  representatives( counselor, MLA,& MP…)  do not seem to show much concern about this vital health/civic  aspect.

“Periodically check on restaurants , cooks ,storage places of all items, quality of  water used, standards of cleaning and disposal process, periodical health check up of staff  who can be carriers of infectious diseases and conditions of bathrooms and  toilets  should be carried out by concerned authorities,” says Dr.H.K.LakshmanRao of Krishnapuri.

“I think formation of a high power official reviewing committee is needed to oversee and compel correction of the unhealthy conditions,” says K R Krishnaswamy.

         

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