Food Hygiene

Improving the safety of street-vended food

World Health Stat Q. 1997;50(1-2):124-31.

Improving the safety of street-vended food.

Moy GHazzard AKäferstein F.

Food Safety and Food Aid Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva.

Abstract

An integrated plan of action for improving street food involving health and other regulatory authorities, vendors and consumers should address not only food safety, but also environmental health management, including consideration of inadequate sanitation and waste management, possible environmental pollution, congestion and disturbances to traffic. However, WHO cautions that, in view of their importance in the diets of urban populations, particularly the socially disadvantaged, every effort should be made to preserve the benefits provided by varied, inexpensive and often nutritious street food. Therefore, authorities concerned with street food management must balance efforts aimed at reducing the negative aspects on the environment with the benefits of street food and its important role in the community. Health authorities charged with responsibility for food safety control should match risk management action to the level of assessed risk. The rigorous application of codes and enforcement of regulations more suited to larger and permanent food service establishments is unlikely to be justifiable. Such rigorous application of codes and regulations may result in disappearance of the trade with consequent aggravation of hunger and malnutrition. Moreover, most codes and regulations have not been based on any systematic identification and assessment of health hazards associated with different types of foods and operations as embodied in the HACCP approach which has been recognized by Codex as the most cost-effective means for promoting food safety. WHO encourages the development of regulations that empower vendors to take greater responsibility for the preparation of safe food, and of codes of practice based on the HACCP system.

PMID: 9282395 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

 

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Written by geraldmoy

February 13, 2011 at 3:20 pm