My office is near a local eating place where there is always a rush of people coming over and over again during their break time to eat and in Ramadan, there are many local vendors selling samosas, pakoras etc. It is also famous for a variety of other desi foods. I always bring homemade food in case there is a workload and to avoid eating junk but unfortunately, I forgot to bring my food yesterday. My colleagues asked me to join them in the break time and what I saw at the eatery place made me puke.

The parathas we ordered were wrapped in a newspaper, the moment I saw that there was a picture in my mind about the newspaper ink being transferred into the parathas and eventually making its way inside my body. This reminded me of Punjab Food Authority’s ban on food being served in newspapers as the ink has harmful chemicals like phthalate which can cause digestive problems, breast cancer, and obesity and also lead to severe toxicity. Pregnant women exposed to high levels of phthalate increases the risk of birth defects and intellectual deficits.

On the day of World Food Safety Day, it is necessary for the people to know what is safe for their body to consume and what is not. In this regard, Punjab Food Authority initiated food grade material packaging to be used in 2018 as for the betterment of people but local vendors are still using newspapers in the form of wrapping food material; more strict actions must be taken and the government should know how bad it is for our future generation as well. The government and other organisations like PFA should move together towards making a food place safe for everyone.

Usama Pervez