Roadside Food Expert warns on hazards of road side akara, roasted plantain

The medical practitioner described foods and other snacks sold by the roadside as harmful and detrimental to the health of the consumer.

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A medical practitioner, Dr Idi Martins on Thursday warned the public on the health hazards of consuming road side foods like beans cake, popularly called “akara’’, roasted plantain and others sold by the roadside.

Martins gave this warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, saying that foods and other snacks sold by the roadside are unhygienic, unhealthy and pose a threat to the health status of the consumers.

“These foods are usually sold by the roadside and are exposed to a lot of pollution, dust and smokes emanating from vehicular and pedestrian movement.

“Even though some of these hawkers use polythene bag to cover the food, it still poses a threats to the consumers, which causes food poisoning, infections and other serious diseases,’’ he said.

The medical practitioner also complained of the neatness of the hawkers, utensils and the cooking process, which he described as harmful and detrimental to the health status of the consumer.

“Some of these hawkers or vendors that sell by the roadside foods often wear dirty aprons, uncovered hair, some of them even use unclean hands and utensils to serve customers, without necessarily washing them.’’

He therefore advised the public to desist from consuming and patronising road side snacks and foods because it exposes them to diseases such as diarrhea, vomiting and other health hazards.

Some Abuja residents spoken to said  they patronize road side snacks and food vendors that because their foods are usually cheap and easily accessible.

Mr Jonathan Musa said that due to the nature of his job, he had no choice but to patronize them.

"I  just have to patronise these food vendors that hawk around any construction site because one does not have time to look for a restaurant for food when he is hungry, they are usually accessible and cheap.’’

Similarly, Clement Chigozie, a civil servant said despite repeated warnings on the health hazards of road side snacks, he still prefers it to the food sold at restaurants and eateries.

“I am aware of the health implication of patronising road side food vendors, but that won’t stop me from patronising their foods because they prepare it especially the sauce in a local way different from the way restaurant and other eateries do.’’

He, however said he was very conscious of who and where he buys such foods to prevent contracting any food poison or diseases.

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