Street food served on printed paper is cancerous

 Think twice before consuming food in printed papers served by street vendors and small hotels as there is a higher risk of contracting cancers at an early age.

Published: 02nd August 2017 10:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2017 10:02 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Think twice before consuming food in printed papers served by street vendors and small hotels as there is a higher risk of contracting cancers at an early age. Though the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has banned the use of newspapers and other printed papers, still several hotels and eateries are using it without knowing the consequences. Food safety department officials who should keep a vigil are lagging behind and are yet to provide awareness on the issue. “If a person consumes oily food wrapped in printed papers for a minimum period of five years, it is reason enough for that person to develop cancer. As children are commonly seen consuming food items on printed papers on a regular basis, they stand a higher chance of getting cancer right from the age of 25,” said K Madhusudhana Rao, a senior physician.

“It’s a hectic task for small vendors and eateries to daily purchase banana leafs and serve the food as the business would not be stable. Moreover, the white papers are cost effective. With no option left to us, we are using newspapers which cost around `10 per kg,” said B Rajyalakshmi, who runs a road side eatery in Suryaraopet. Speaking to Express on Tuesday, assistant food controller N Purnachandra Rao said, ‘As the chemicals in printer inks and colouring agents in papers cause health issues such as stomach infections and even cancer, the FSSAI banned the use of printed paper for wrapping food items. The food safety department conducts frequent inspections in the city for preventing food stalls from using newspapers to serve oily foods.” 

“We will issue a circular to all designated officers to create awareness among street vendors and the public about the ill effects of consuming food in the printed papers. In December 2016, the FSSAI had advised to ban newspaper packaging that can lead to cancer,” said Purnachandra. He added that instead of serving food in printed papers, the vendors can use other alternatives like ceramic plates, areca, steel plates, banana leaves and thick polythene paper. Ceramic plates are not cost effective and steel plates need to be washed. Banana leaf is easily available and cost effective too. Plastic is banned so it cannot be used. Another alternative is recovering additional cost from the consumers. 


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