As a food enthusiast and traveller, usually we would like to explore the tourist attractions and savour the culinary local foods, especially street foods. Every part of the world culture has its own versions of street food that represent their own history and heritage.
Is Street Food safe?
One common question when it comes to street food is “Is this street food safe?”. Ensuring food safety is of utmost importance to protect consumers from foodborne illnesses. Here are some guidelines and tips to consider for maintaining food safety in street food!
Temperature and Time
The safe-zone temperature for food is below 4o C, where bacteria can’t grow. And most of the bacteria will be killed in above 70o C. Street food has so many variations, it can be served cold or hot, but how hot or cold the food is important to measure is it safe or not.
Unless you walk around with a meat thermometer in your pocket this may be hard to judge. Therefore, what we can do is we can check whether the foods is properly cooked or not. If you are unsure ask the cook to cook it longer, longer is always better when it comes to foodborne illness.
As for time, the golden rule is “busy usually means fresher and safer food”. If the vendor as no line of customers, mean the food isn’t moving. And the ingredient isn’t properly storage (since street food usually don’t carry around cooler to storage the ingredients), this can lead to many problems with the most important being that food is allowed to sit in the room temperature and either rot or grow bacteria.
Proper food handling techniques are crucial. Vendors should use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination. Cooked food should be kept separate from raw ingredients, and vendors should avoid touching ready-to-eat food with bare hands.
Street food vendors should prioritize personal hygiene by wearing clean clothes, washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling food, and using disposable gloves or utensils when necessary.
Ensure that ingredients used in street food are fresh and obtained from reliable sources. Raw fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed, and meats should be properly stored at appropriate temperatures.
Water and Ice
Ensure that the water used for food preparation, cleaning, and ice making is from a safe and reliable source. It is most important that the vendor to distinguish the water which one is used for consumption and operational. If you are unsure, don’t consume the ice.
Cleaning and Sanitization
Regular cleaning and sanitization of cooking equipment, utensils, and food preparation areas are essential. Vendors should use approved sanitizers and follow proper cleaning procedures to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Display and Packaging
Street food should be displayed in a way that protects it from contamination, such as using covered containers or wrapping. Packaging materials should be clean and food-grade.
Proper waste disposal is crucial to maintain cleanliness and prevent the attraction of pests. Vendors should have designated bins for different types of waste and ensure regular removal and proper disposal of waste.
Additionally, street food vendors should stay updated on local health regulations and requirements, attend food safety training programs, and undergo regular inspections to ensure compliance with food safety standards.
Remember, as a consumer, it’s essential to be vigilant about food safety as well. Choose reputable vendors, look for cleanliness in food preparation areas, and ensure the food you consume is cooked thoroughly and served at the right temperatures.
Wants to Check the Safety of Your Street-Food?
To ensure the safety of your food, you’ll need to know whether it is free or infected with bacteria, chemicals, or even viruses. The only way to check is to bring your food to the food laboratory.
PT. Seafood Inspection Laboratory has been accredited by KAN with ISO 17025 as a professional and experienced testing laboratory, we can provide microbiological, chemical, heavy metal testing services, SWAB Test on food, water, raw ingredients, medicine, etc.
Make sure that the food you eat, or cook is safe for consumption!
Let Us be Your Laboratory!