Valley eateries unhygienic: Study

Kathmandu, November 19:

A study has revealed that food served in many eateries across Kathmandu Valley is unhealthy and that the authorities concerned have not paid due attention to improve the situation. Hotels

and restaurants have been an essential part of life in the fast growing Valley, but the food served at these eateries in the city is not healthy and that the situation is alarming, the study has revealed. Recommendations made by a base line survey on food safety situation of lower and medium scale hotels and restaurants in Kathmandu have never be implemented, posing serious threat to the health of Kathmanduites, the report says.

The study team had recommended the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) to train hoteliers and workers on food safety, hygiene and sanitation, establish minimum food safety measures

such as toilets, apron and cleanliness, establishing regular inspection system, promote regular

check up drives, time-frame for regular monitoring of prepared foods among others. However, the KMC has not even included any of these recommendations in its plans and programmes. “We don’t have the funds for all these,” head of the Public Health Department (PHD) of KMC Dr Baburam Gautam, said. According to Dr Gautam, the recent study was conducted citing the responsibility of KMC to protect Valley denizens from the harmful effects of unsafe food.

The survey of food situation of lower/medium scale hotels and restaurants was conducted by the Urban Nutrition Programme of PHD. Meanwhile, general secretary of Forum for the Protection of Consumers’ Right Nepal Jyoti Baniya said the government authorities are playing with people’s health. “We will file a writ petition in the Supreme Court if the authorities concerned do not take necessary actions to safeguard the consumers’ rights,” Baniya said.

The findings

•37.7 per cent of the hotels/restaurants do not store food properly

•Food in 70.3 per cent of the hotels are left over

•Only 15.4 per cent of hotels use refrigerator for storing food

•19.4 per cent of the hotels/restaurants have toilets either close to the kitchen or in front of it

•54.3 per cent of the hotels/restaurants serve impure drinking water

•52.1 per cent of hotels/restaurants do not use soap

•54.5 per cent of the hotels have not been registered