STREET FOOD

With variations within regions and cultures street food vending is found across the world. Sold by vendors and peddlers street food is the ready to eat food or drink sold on street and public spaces. Vendors usually use portable booth, food cart or truck to sale the food items. The chief characteristics of street food is that street foods are reasonably priced and flavored and easily available. The importance of street food vending lies on the fact that besides offering business opportunities for developing entrepreneurs, the sale of street foods can make a sizeable contribution to the economies of developing countries like India.

Street food often reflects traditional local cultures and exists in an endless variety. There is much diversity in the raw materials as well as in the preparation of street food beverages, snacks and meals. Vendors’ stalls are usually located outdoors or under a roof which is easily accessible from the street. Their marketing success depends exclusively on location and word-of-mouth promotion. Street food businesses are usually owned and operated by individuals or families but benefits from their trade extend throughout the local economy.

One of the important aspects related to the street food is the importance and the necessity for maintaining the nutritional status to the large section of population.

Despite the importance of the street food and the street food vending the fact that the street food vending involves many problems cannot be ignored. The present condition in which most of the street food vendors cook and sale are unsuitable .The place is not clean, well lit and far from source of contamination. Most of the street food vendors do not practice hygienic method of covering food and water. Food not covered is exposed to flies, birds, rodents etc which may cause food borne pathogens. Street food vendors also lack proper food handling and waste disposal training.

A majority of food vendors are not aware of causes of food poisoning and food borne disease which can spread through their food if not handled properly. Many studies have indicated that Water is a critical raw material in many street-vended operations.

Contaminated water and raw material can create a public health risk when it is used for drinking, washing of foods, incorporated in the food as an ingredient and used in the processing of food or used for washing equipment, and hands It is a well known vehicle for enter pathogens such as /E. coli/, /Salmonella/ spp. and /Campylobacter/ spp. amongst others. Unavailability of potable water for various activities at the vending Site is a major concern. Due to the shortage of clean potable water .Many vendors tend to re-use the water, especially for cleaning utensils Studies done to find out the bacteriological quality of the water used by some street vendors have revealed frequent contamination with coli forms and faecal coli forms  .vendors neither have training on food handling nor  they know how food gets contaminated by different microbes and  practice hygienic behavior like washing hand properly after going to toilet as faecal contamination takes place through hand to the food also.

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