Come Saturday 5th October 2013, the Buddhist and Hindu communities will start the observance of going strictly vegetarian for 9 days.
Around this time, apart from vegetarian restaurants, we can see many temporary stalls being set up throughout the country selling vegetarian food. Some of these stalls are situated in open areas where food is exposed to road dust and flies.
CAP calls on the Health Ministry authorities to inform the public on what is being done to ensure that the food sold at these restaurants and temporary food stalls are safe for consumption. Have the temporary stalls been licensed? How are checks being conducted throughout the country to ensure compliance with food laws? Are these food operators sent for food handling courses prior to conducting their businesses and have they been inoculated against certain diseases such as typhoid?
Learning from past and present experiences, E.Coli and Salmonella bacteria can cause serious illness, and even death. Children are especially at risk. CAP hope that food poisoning risks are not being ignored during this period.
Apart from food safety concerns the authorities should also ensure that the temporary stalls set up along busy roads do not cause obstruction to traffic flow.
Press Statement – 3 October 2013