The demands for all commodities has increased recently with an alarming rate due to the rapid population growth in the country. While exploiting the market, where there is always ‘a crises’, the profiteers and business minded people have come up with more attractive and innovative ideas for selling their products, creating artificial need and kept on compromising on the standard of almost all edibles. Both the concerned authorities and the businessmen could equally be held responsible for the ever declining standard of commodities: Firstly, the poor monitoring system of the government in maintaining standard has provided a safe haven for the profiteers to use all short-comings and adulteration in edibles. Secondly, on the part of the businessmen, there seems a moral decline as these people, who on one hand consider the concept of ‘adulteration haram’ (religiously forbidden) but use novel techniques of adulteration.

Food poisoning refers to a wide variety of diseases which are usually caused by eating contaminated food. The main contributing factors for food poisoning are poor handling of food and its unhygienic preparation. As most of the workers in the restaurants, mills and industries (related to edibles), do not care about cleanliness, as a result, they infect food either with their hands or tools. Most of the restaurants continue to serve substandard and unhygienic food in the country as they neither comply with food laws nor with hygiene rules.

In advanced countries there are not only strict laws for maintaining the standards, labels and quality of food, edibles, medicines and other sale products, but in Pakistan, instead focusing on public health, the businessmen are more concerned about minting money. The issue can be resolved by spreading awareness than by treatment. And, in this regard, the government can launch awareness campaigns through media and other means about food born-diseases targeting both the costumers and people at domestic level.

Moreover, the authorities concerned need to play a more vigilant role due to the rising cases of food poisoning and health issues by inspecting the food outlets regularly and taking stern action against the violators of food, drugs, and hygiene laws for protecting the consumers’ rights and public health. They should ensure implementation of the existing laws besides announcing and formulating new rules to meet the challenge of deteriorating hygienic conditions of food besides dealing with the outlaws with an iron hand for using fake names and labels for medicines, life-saving drugs and other sale products.

TAJ NABI,

Islamabad, February 5.