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18 October 2007

Concern over food safety

Consumers are concerned about the safety of food bought from street vendors, a survey conducted by the National Consumer Forum (NCF) has found.

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Consumers are concerned about the safety of food bought from street vendors, a survey conducted by the National Consumer Forum (NCF) has found.

CF chairman Thami Bolani said on Wednesday that most adults bought food from a street vendor on a daily basis.

The food is easily available, affordable and, consumers say, usually fresh.

Research by the NCF suggests there are still concerns about food safety, and that municipalities could do more to help vendors offer a hygienic service," said Bolani.

This follows research conducted in Gauteng in September and October 2007.

Vendors should be trained
"This formed part of the Global Street Food Campaign. The campaign will raise awareness about street food selling and work with local authorities to implement hygiene and food safety standards.

"It plans to help with the training of street food vendors in good hygiene practices," said Bolani.

The survey of about 320 people found that nearly half of the men and about 40 percent of women bought food from a street vendor on a daily basis.

According to the NFC, although most people found the food to be affordable and easily available, there was concern about the cleanliness of the food and where it was prepared.

"Thirty-one of the 174 women in the survey felt the vending areas were unsatisfactory and represented a health hazard while men seemed to be less worried about the safety of the food. Only 15 percent thought that it might not be safe to eat," said Bolani.

Men appreciated the service received from street vendors as opposed to buying from shops. – (Sapa)

Read more:
Food safety standards in spotlight
Chinese product scares: a timeline

 
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