The Safety of Fried Peanuts and Other Street Foods

I bought these deep fried peanuts from street vendors. These peanuts already cost five pesos. I buy street foods whenever I cannot control the urge but I try to avoid them as much as I could.

fried peanuts

I love eating eating street foods during my school days. Street vendors often sells banana cue, kwek kwek (boiled egg coated with flour), turon (fried banana wrapped in lumpia wrapper), peanuts, beans, fried bits of chicken meat, fish balls, meat balls and kikiam. These foods are very affordable,  a stick of banana cue and samalamig (flavored drink) was enough for my lunch.

Selling street foods  can be a good source of income.  Any individual with a minimal capital can start this decent kind of job. A small bicycle with sidecar or a small push cart will do.  I often buy pandesal every morning from this very hardworking couple.  They sell pandesal (bread) in the morning, sell assorted bread and lugaw during lunch time and sell balut at night. I knew that they are earning a decent income because they managed to buy a motorcycle for their moving store.

We cannot deny that street foods have two main benefits, as cheap food or snack and a source of income. However, there is one big drawback. This food may cause food poisoning and diseases because we do not know how the vendor prepared their goods.

My friend got a disease called Hepatitis A. His doctor said that he got his disease from eating unclean foods, probably street foods. Hepatitis A is a fecal to mouth transmitted disease, so it can be transferred through eating of foods contaminated with Hepatitis A virus.

I hope some of you still remember about the food poisoning of some children after eating of cassava cake. Investigation found out that the food could have been in contact with poisonous chemical or it contain high levels of cyanide, a naturally occurring harmful substance in cassava.

I can still remember my big brother and I had a diarrhea after drinking buko juice (young coconut water) packed in a disposable drinking cup.

For safety issues, vendors should get a health permit and identification cards. Authorities should educate them about proper food hygiene. These should be mandatory!

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