Roadside eateries and food stalls are busy selling sub-standard, cheap and unhygienic food without any fear in Lahore, even in the holy month of Ramazan.
This has not just put the life of thousands of citizens at risk, but also has exposed the tall claims of Punjab Food Authority.
Both locals who enjoy the bachelor life and outsiders alike have to rely on such eateries and food points available near them which offer fast food.
“I only have the option to have my meal from bazaar because my hostel doesn’t have the facility of food,” said Hamid, a resident of a private hostel in Ali Town. Despite knowing the quality and unhygienic conditions at hotels, he said that he had no other option except to eat out.
Though many hostel and residences for bachelors provide food, most of their residents complain off having to eat the same food on a daily basis. Such issues force the outsiders to eat from nearby available food points to satisfy their hunger.
Drinking tea is a common habit of students and the working class. However, numerous consumers were found complaining of bad taste or unwanted odor from the tea available at tea stalls and food points. According to experts, such odor is the result of adulterated milk and sub-standard tea leaves being used for making tea.
PFA claims to take several actions against the suppliers of adulterated milk but despite such actions and raids, the dirty business of cheap milk is in full swing in the city. A PFA official spoke with Minute Mirror, saying that it was hard to cater to the need of citizens in Lahore.
“Lahore has a greater demand as compared to the milk supplied here,” he said, adding that to fill this gap, adulterated milk is being provided at shops in Lahore in collusion with PFA staff.
Besides the cheap food items, most of the food handlers are also not in good conditions. A few years back, PFA started medical examination of the food handlers, but later it left this practice.
Senior physician Dr. Muhammad Rauf said that the eateries were one of the major causes of citizens’ diseases in Lahore. Talking to Minute Mirror, he said that the open food being sold at roadsides of the city was the major source of diseases like hepatitis, typhoid, cholera, gastroenteritis.
“Many waterborne diseases also generate from such eateries as they don’t care to [use] clean water,” he added.
PFA spokesperson Hafiz Qaiser said that teams worked round the clock to keep a check on such eateries. “We are committed to providing safe and hygienic food to our citizens and we take strict action against the food sellers if we find a violation,” he added.