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8 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Right to safe food

Right to safe food

In the recent days there have been a number of drives carried out in various restaurants to check the quality of the food they serve. Unfortunately but by no means shockingly, many well known restaurants have been fined because of the poor quality of food they serve or keep and the grossly unhygienic quality of their kitchens.   The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) set up on February 2, 2015, has the authority to monitor the activities relating to production, import, processing, stockpiling, supplying, marketing and sales of food and to ensure the people's right and access to safe food. The result of the surveys they have carried out so far is far from being satisfactory.  

The local laws and World Health Organization (WHO) standards state that to provide safe food, a restaurant must ensure five things: the food handler and cooking area is clean, water and raw materials used are safe, raw and cooked foods are stored separately, food (particularly meat and poultry) is cooked thoroughly and stored at appropriate temperatures. Food safety violations are rampant in the country with cases of food poisoning reported in local newspapers every other day. Almost every time a case of food poisoning is reported, it is because of food consumed outside the house. When eating out, people don’t know if the dishes were washed properly, how hygienic the kitchen was or whether the cooks washed their hands before preparing the meal.

  Food sold by hawkers or at roadside stalls poses greater health risks. Vendors lack the basic infrastructure to keep food safe and in most cases possess zero knowledge of hygiene, both environmental and personal. They also fail to follow the most important food rule: warm food should be kept warm and cold food should be kept cold. It is hard to distinguish food safety from water safety in the country. Waterborne diseases like cholera, diarrhoea and hepatitis A and E are widespread.

In some cases eating contaminated food leads to stomach aches and cramping lead to bloody diarrhoea, kidneys shutting down and seizures and the worst case scenario is death by food. Losing precious life to an illness  is preventable as food poisoning is unfortunate to say the least. With increased globalisation of the food chain and no integrated safety system in place in the country, the major burden of preventing food poisoning falls on consumers.

  Given the fact that more and more people are eating out, experts advise prevention over cure.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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