Roadside drinks termed health hazard

Sale of low-quality drinks increases with onset of summer


APP March 31, 2019

ISLAMABAD: As summer season approaches across the country, citizens start drinking various unsafe multicolored low quality summer drinks from roadside vendors, which puts their health at risk.

Medical experts warned that during the scorching summer, most people, especially people from low-income groups are the main consumers of the drinks.

The colourful drinks are made from substandard ingredients and served in unhygienic ways, said physician Dr Habib Suleman talking to a private news channel.

Numerous vendors are offering sugarcane juice, lemonade, sorbet, and several other colored drinks in different places of the cities and bus terminals. Dr Suleman said that street side juices are usually kept under the open sky creating a high probability for dust to mix with the drinks.

The vendors exhibit it all day long and different microbiological contamination happens in those foods, he said, adding that food becomes stale after four hours as it is kept under the open sky during the summer.

"For a hygienic juice, we have to ensure that there is safe water, a hygienic colour additive and ensure other safety measures," he added.

Experts said the drinks and fruits prepared and served in unhygienic ways can cause various diseases like diarrhea, jaundice, typhoid, cholera, and paratyphoid.

Dr Noman Tariq, another physician and nutritionist warned that juice prepared using dirty machines can be dangerous. According to experts, such items are prepared at unauthorised factories and their sales surge in the summer season.

Dr Huma Shah, who runs a private clinic, said it was common that pushcarts sell unhygienic food and drinks outside educational institutions. She suggested that the government immediately impose a ban on the sale of unhygienic cold drinks. She also advised people to avoid buying such substandard drinks from roadside stalls and suggested that they exclusively use boiled, filtered or mineral drinking water during the coming summer season.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2019.

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