KHAIRPUR MIRS: I have no hesitation in stating that unhygienic food is being sold all across Pakistan. Food vendors, hotels and restaurants are selling stale and unhygienic food to their customers without knowing the consequences. As an eyewitness, I have seen swarms of flies hovering over prepared/cooked food which is left uncovered while rats and cockroaches sprawl in kitchens. Rotten vegetables, stale chicken, contaminated water and copious amounts of low quality edible oil are used in all sorts of food items. All this is a major cause of bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases. In extreme cases, consuming such unhygienic food items cause pneumonia, food poising, diarrhoea, hepatitis, and gastroenteritis.
According to a WHO report, diarrhoea is a common epidemic affecting 550 million people and resulted in 23 million deaths worldwide. Forty per cent of children aged less than five years are victims of diseases caused by bad food. This causes 125,000 deaths every year.
Hyderabad is the home of many political activists who raise their voices against multiple civic issues. But none of them have said anything against those who are selling contaminated food and playing with the health of innocent people. Sadly, not even the provincial government has taken this issue seriously. The people lack the basic facility of hygienic food due to which their health disintegrates faster. I urge the Sindh Food authority to take action against this and impose fines on those that do not have proper health licences.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2020.