Bhubaneswar: Several street food items examined by the Food Safety department in the last one year were found to be laced with high levels of synthetic colours, revealed a senior official of the department.
During random checks of street food items in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, it was found that the varieties of sauces used by the fast food sellers contained industrial dyes which could aggravate health complications if consumed for a longer period of time, department sources said.
“During the checks, we found that vendors selling noodles and other fast food items used sauces which contained synthetic dyes unfit for human consumption,” said the official.
Adulterated paneer, oil and other food items also became a cause of concern among the officials of the Food Safety department. The department also found higher levels of monosaccharides in paneer and dairy products available in the market.
Health experts are of the view that people should consume naturally-grown food to avoid health complications. “People often get lured by the street foods. But, the harmful chemicals in street foods are causing several health complications. The best way to remain healthy is to opt for natural food sources and shun packaged items and fast food,” said Maheshwari Sangolli, a lifestyle physician from the city.
She also added, “The best way is to look for plant-based food items and cook these at home. Animal-based foods often contain antibiotics and other harmful elements which can cause health complications. By eating homemade food, people can avoid preservatives and harmful chemicals present in many unhealthy street foods.”
Ayashkant Singh, a gastroenterologist from the city, said consumption of chemical dyes could have a long-lasting effect on the health of a person. “It varies from short-term effects like diarrhoea and ulcer to serious cases like cancer if consumed for a longer period.”
“We know what unsafe food can do. Consumption of safe food will improve nutrition among the youths and prevent them from diseases. Safe food can lead to less hospitalisation. This will boost the economy in the long run,” he added.
According to government data, the Food Safety department tested more than 500 samples of food and beverages and found several cases of adulteration and misbranding.
Manish Kumar, OP