Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Newspapers being used as platters for consumption of snacks such as samosas and kachoris has still not come to a halt in Bhopal. Even five years after the ban on use of newspapers for serving and packing eatables at food stalls, the practice remains prevalent in the city.
Moreover, the general public remains oblivious of dire health threats posed by the same. Notably, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had announced a ban on utilisation of newspapers as a platter for serving snacks five years ago. Following this, Bhopal district administration had also run a campaign to call out the practice in September 2022.
However, Free Press, while taking stock of kiosks and food stalls of the city, learnt that despite orders by the FDA, no crackdown has been initiated on food business operators, among whom the practice has become rampant.
A more worrying concern is the fact that fried snacks such as samosas, kachoris etc, piled up one over the other, are kept on newspapers inside the showcase, resulting in prolonged exposure to harmful chemicals possessed by newspaper ink. A majority of the owners of roadside eateries, when nudged about the same, turned out to be unaware of the norms implemented by FDA long ago.
Doctors of Bhopal have raised red flags over the issue, stating that consumption of snacks on newspapers would result in slow poisoning, which does not become visible earlier and spreads insidiously.
Buying disposable plates too heavy on our pockets: Kiosk owners
Mohammad Mushtaq, a kiosk operator, stated that he has no option other than using newspapers, as one disposable plate costs him Rs 5 and buying a huge number of such plates on a daily basis would be too heavy on his pocket.
Shailendra Singh, when enquired about newspapers-turned-platters at the stall owned by him, said that samosas and kachoris are feasible to be served in a disposable plate, but other snacks such as poha, upma etc are not, as the plates are small in size.
Newspaper ink laced with harmful chemicals, pigments, causes cancer: Docs
Physician Dr Sandeep Jha told Free Press that newspaper ink is laced with harmful chemicals and pigments such as lead and naphthylamines. The ink melts when hot snacks are served on it and causes cancer, as well as issues related to nervous system on consumption.
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