New Delhi: Street food options are always tempting, but be cautious about indulging in it as you may contract gastrointestinal infections. It’s best to consume spicy and oily food in moderation during the summer and monsoon season, suggest experts.
Saurabh Arora, Founder at FoodSafetyHelpline.com and Vishal Gupta, Managing Director at Blue Mount RO, have some points to make:
* Food can cause gastric problems: Various types of snacks made of mashed potatoes, which might be kept in the open for long should be avoided. One of the most common snacks in this category are samosas. Other oily snacks include paneer pakoras which might cause gastric problems if the ingredients are not fresh.
Fermented food items like chole bhature can be spoiled by fungi that flourish in the humid conditions prevailing during the rainy season. As a general rule of thumb, all types of spicy and oily food should be consumed in moderation.
* Avoid street food: Most types of street foods are generally prepared in the open. There is a chance of contamination of the food with rain water. The stalls are sometimes located near open drains, where there is a chance of contamination with coliform bacteria that can cause serious diarrhea disease.
The water used for preparing street food favourites like golgappas is likely to be contaminated, and there is a chance of contracting water-borne diseases like cholera and typhoid in this way.
Also, fruit juices from street vendors might be kept in the open and served later, increasing chances of contamination. There are chances that the glasses and other items will not be clean.
Consumption of ice lollies, kulfi during the monsoon season can also lead to stomach problems arising from unhygienic conditions.
* Common water-borne infections: Water-borne infections can lead to gastroenteritis, diarrhea and serious diseases like typhoid and cholera. Venturing out into water-logged streets will result in splashing of dirty rain water onto clothes, hands and feet.
* Special precautions for drinking water: Besides microbes, ground water can be heavily contaminated with chemicals, as these leach easily into the underground water deposits. The best way to ensure safe drinking water is to filter the water, followed by boiling, before drinking.