Street-vended juices dangerous for health: KU research

KARACHI: A research suggests that un-bottled juices are unhygienic and unsafe for human health.

It says street vended juices spread harmful diseases among population.

Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Karachi’s research on fresh fruit juices of street vendors in Karachi says that un-bottled street vended juices are not safe for human consumption as they give rise to many food borne infections.

It was suggested that government should take serious measures to curb this menace and formulate a surveillance system to monitor food safety according to International Health Standards.

The research was conducted by KU’s Registrar Prof Moazzam Ali Khan, Dr Amir Alamgir, Noor Fatima and Dr Syed Shahid Shokat from Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Karachi.

During the research, the seasonal juice samples were collected from different local markets of Karachi. Samples of nine varieties of fruit juices including Mango, Banana, Sugarcane, Apple, Orange, Carrot, Watermelon, Dates and lemon were collected.

The highest bacterial load was found in the sample of Banana juice while the lowest in lemon juice.

All samples of fruit juices contained the coliform and fecal coliform. The highest fungal load was found in Banana, apple, and watermelon while the lowest in orange juice.

Ecoli is the most common bacterium found in the intestines of the human and animals. It is abundant in sewage and can cause food poisoning.

Salmonella is also bacterium found in the sewage and could cause typhoid fever.

A separate microbial analysis Total Coliform Count (TCC) showed that all fresh juices also contained faecal bacteria and E coli.

The lowest TCC was observed in dates shakes while highest in banana and sugarcane.

Gastroenterologists endorsed the microbial analysis of the fresh fruit drinks sold by local vendors. They said that it contained extremely hazardous viruses including those causing Hepatitis A and D, besides various other viral diseases and called for detail investigation.

Staphylococcus Aureus caused staph infections while Streptococci could lead to dangerous infections such as scarlet and pneumonia.

Karachi is the most industrialized and populous city of the country and remains hot and humid for most part of the year, therefore the demand of these juices are high and increasing day by day. They are usually sold in every part of the city under unhygienic conditions.

Environmental factors like garbage and sewage spills further worsen the health conditions which may cause diseases like cholera, diarrhea and various disorders.

This is highly recommended that the government must take serious inspection measures and also issue licenses to make them accountable moreover those licenses could be terminated if violation occurs.

Juices abstracted from sugarcane are consumed by a large number of people but these doesn’t usually fulfil the basic health criteria as they are not clean plus polluted which leads to several diseases while this is an irony that these vendors are running these business fearlessly which is highly dangerous for the health of the citizens, the report suggested.

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