ISLAMABAD – Owners of different canteens and eateries at various hospitals and bus stands were selling substandard eatables as well as overcharging from the consumers, who were forced to buy stale and unhygienic food from these food outlets in federal capital.During a visit to different hospitals of capital, APP found that a large number of consumers complained that the canteens and restaurants had no proper sitting arrangements while the kitchenware they used was not washed well, adding that there was no price control mechanism for these eateries. They were also dissatisfied with the poor service of the food outlets workers.While number of government and private hospitals in capital is over a dozen. The food being sold in these canteens and out side stalls of hospitals is too shoddy and substandard, and is causing many health problems.It was learnt that all such public places in the city were offering substandard food due to no checking by the responsible authorities. Due to lack of any food inspection system in the capital, people were suffering from food poisoning and other related diseases. There were many small food stalls and roadside hotels seen in public parks, hospitals and recreation resorts, where low quality food was sold which was hazardous to the health of people.A traveller Qasim Mukhtar at General Bus Stand said that he did not like to eat from the restaurants at the bus stand, but he had no other option.He said that quality of food items available there was unsatisfactory. He said that owners of these canteens had increased the prices of food by 20 per cent compared to those in routine days, in the absence of any inspection by the administration. The patients of food poisoning mostly belong to surrounding areas of Islamabad. Due to lack of health facilities in these areas, they have to visit hospitals in Islamabad for treatment. And the family members, who come to these hospitals with the patients, have to rely on the low quality food being sold in these canteens and stalls. Over 70% of people living in the capital belong to other parts of the country and 45% of people are living without their families.Those who live single mostly are in the city for studies and job. They have no other choice, so they have to eat this substandard food. According to a physician, Dr Ahsan at local hospital said that low quality food and contaminated water caused a number of fatal diseases. “Use of different artificial colors in edibles caused cancer and different diseases related to intestine, stomach and throat,” he said. Hospital sources said due to rising inflation cafeteria management could not afford quality cooking oil and others items used in preparing the food.“If we use expensive quality cooking oil we have to revised rate list for higher rates and we are aware that people visiting this cafeteria are mostly from lower class”. Spokesman of CDA hospital said that the administration soon launch a special awareness campaign among the residents of capital city to discourage the parks and hospitals canteens selling unhygienic food items.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 18-Feb-2013 here.