The mention of street food is sure to thrill food lovers. However, the fears of food poisoning and stomach upsets due to the questionable quality of Indian street food are quite real.
Thankfully you can now dig into your favourite chaats, without the fear of your stomach going awry. Gujarat’s smart city, Ahmedabad, now has the country’s first clean street food hub, where you can partake of culinary pleasures without health repercussions.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), declared the Kankaria Lake area in Ahmedabad, as the country’s first clean street food hub.
The 15th century lake has around 66 street food vendors, who cater to around 12 million people per year.
The FSSAI framed guidelines for upgrading the infrastructure for existing street food clusters, to make it more safe and hygienic. The parameters included:-
1. Garbage disposal practices.
2. Maintenance of personal hygiene.
3. Demarcating of cooking and non-cooking areas.
4. Working street lights.
5. Pest control.
6. Overall cleanliness.
Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, told the Hindustan Times, that there is a 80% cut-off, above which everything is outstanding. He praised the efforts of those involved and said it is now a standard to be maintained.
A pre-audit of the street was carried out by the FSSAI, along with Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration, and other regulatory agencies. Suggestions were given for improvement, and street food vendors were trained. After being satisfied with the changes made by the vendors, the authorities bestowed it with the distinction of being a ‘clean street food hub’.
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The initiative is set to raise hygiene standards, and revolutionise food vending in India. The idea is to make street food popular to domestic and international tourists, nudging the street vendors into an ecosystem where the latter will be held up with high esteem, all around the world. The objective also includes preserving the rich culinary heritage of the country.
Foodies can now have a field day sampling the best of street food in the country!
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)