Fish balls, Squid balls, Banana-cue, Camote-cue, Kwek-kwek, are just a few of the street foods that are popular to most Filipinos. Are they delicious? Sure yes with secret spices and special mixes that have been approved in the true Pinoy taste. Are they affordable? Very much so that the basic Pinoy are its main clientele. Are they hygienic? Let us examine….
Preparation and display – like fast foods, the final preparation and display occur when the customer orders the meal which can be consumed where it is purchased or taken away. It is usually in an open environment, hence open to dust and other air pollutants.
In addition, most street food vendors are largely ignorant of basic food safety issues. Consequently, street foods are commonly exposed to dangerous abuses. Food is susceptible to contamination at all stages of the food preparation. Raw materials are therefore important to the safety of food because of the biological, chemical and physical hazards that may be introduced to the operation and which may persist through preparation.
We should therefore take our health needs seriously. It is also imperative we remind the street food vendors about their obligations. It is always said that prevention is better than cure.
On another note, have we also thought of the food we buy at the grocery store is laced with herbicides, pesticides, preservatives, flavour enhancers, etc..? How about when eating at restaurants, we have no control over the cleanliness of the kitchen or the practices of those preparing the food.
Street food allows you to observe the process and refuse to purchase if conditions are not to your satisfaction.
Hmmm, just a food for thought…..