ISLAMABAD - People in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi have demanded of the concerned authorities to keep proper check on standard of edibles are being sold at busy places, causing serious health problems to the residents.
“Children are the worst victims of substandard food as they get attracted easily by the striking colours and taste of these beverages and ice-lollies, said Samina Khalid, a senior teacher at a public school. Although adulteration and contamination in edibles especially beverages, bottled water, cooking oil, spices, tea, sweeteners like sugar, bakery items, milk and milk products, fruit and vegetable products are constant threat to the health of residents of the city, but with the increase in the temperature and change of weather the usage of water intakes increases, thus providing chance to these opportunists to play with the health of innocent people, she added.
Dr Waseem Khawaja from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) said “These cold drinks and other edibles are being sold at cheap rates basically prepared in poor hygienic condition and with very substandard ingredients, where the spawning of flies, flying insects and pests at the sale points make these homemade drinks even more injurious.
Most of these roadside vendors were using highly lethal food colours and saccharin instead of sugar in drinks, and red colour frequently used in ice balls and other homemade drinks”, he informed.
The sale of substandard drinks, prepared in contaminated water or in poor hygienic conditions, is one of the major causes of diseases among children in summer.
Most of these cold drinks vendors also do not observe any hygiene standards while washing their utensils in which they serve juices to their customers, he stated.
He said the drinks are sometimes sold in reused bottles that are not cleaned or sterilized properly. The vendors’ utensils and bottles can easily transmit different bacteria and viruses to customers and are major source of communicable diseases. These sold edibles are not only causing the typhoid, diarrhea, throat infections and other abdominal diseases but causing many other serious diseases like hepatitis, intestinal cancers and other intestinal diseases, he added.