Recently, a 45-second video of a Mumbai street food vendor using toilet water to prepare food went viral on social media and WhatsApp. In the video, the Idli vendor can be seen taking water he would use to make chutney, from a Borivali Railway Station toilet tap.
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The Food And Drug Administration has now launched an investigation into the matter. The video, however, doesn’t mention the time or date of the incident so it's unclear how old this video is.
Although this is not the first time a video of a street food vendor blatantly ignoring food safety and hygiene standards has surfaced. From a Panipuri Vendor urinating in a mug to dough being kneaded with feet. We have seen it all.
Almost all street food has some amount of water but there are a few items that you need to think about eating especially since the rains are here.
Pani Puri is a loved Chaat item in Mumbai. If the amount of water you consume while eating Pain Puri is contaminated, you are bound to fall sick. Avoid eating Pani Puri at roadside stalls and if you’re really craving it, spend a little extra at a proper eatery or a restaurant.
A lot of water is used to knead the dough used to make bread and this water may not be from a drinkable source. While a lot of bakeries use machines to knead the dough, a lot of bakeries knead it with feet.
Gola, Street side Lemonade
Streetside drinks and Golas use quite a lot of ice. This ice is made in factories and is transported to the city in trucks. The ice is unloaded on streets and is often broken into smaller pieces on the street.
While Sugarcane Juice is a rich source of energy, the canes used for making the juice are mostly stored on the streets. During the rains, these canes get damp and become ideal places for flies and insects to thrive. Sometimes, flies also make it inside the crusher along with the cane and become a part of your juice.
Not a lot of people know this but even oil can go bad after a certain point. And in the rainy season, the chances of this happening is really high. If the oil used to coon fried snacks like Vadapav, Samosas, and Pakodas is gone bad, you are likely to get an allergic reaction that causes boils to appear on your torso and arms.
While it is advisable to avoid all sorts of street food in the rains, there is always some form of contamination in literally everything we eat. So it is up to you if you really want to risk getting sick just because you wanted to eat roadside Chaat!