Those yummy panipuris; hot, sizzling tikkis; bhuna bhuttas smeared with butter; buttery pav bhaji, yummy chinese fare and so many others are enticing enough to make our stomachs grumble and taste buds tickle. For all those who swear by the great street food, we seem to have finally uncovered the reason for their taste. It is pee! I mean apart from the dirty, unwashed hands; unhygienic utensils; sometimes nose droppings; flies etc., this seems to be an additive of choice of the roadside panipuriwala, juice fellow, or bhel khopcha. Read these incidents about a juice stall owner who was found peeing in the jar in which he made juice for his customers. When questioned he claimed that he was a diabetic, had no access to a toilet so had no qualms of peeing in the same container in which he prepared juice for his customers. The older incident is of a Thane bhel puriwala who was caught on tape peeing in the utensil in which he mixed his bhel.
As much as these incidents disgust us, we need to understand that with no sanitation facilities available to most of our population, many of them work under “excruciating pressures” of a different kind. They are forced to relieve themselves in unconventional ways. It applies to kirana store owners or just about anyone whose livelihood takes them on the roads where they hardly have access to toilet. What I fail to understand is why do it in the very vessel that is the source of your livelihood? Can’t you use something else to do your business in and then wash your hands well. Oh but there is a lack of water, so you can be pretty certain that most of them don’t wash their hands or maintain any level of hygiene and then use these same hands to prepare your yummy goodies.
I wonder what the condition is in most restaurants that we eat out in. Is there anything known as FDA inspection? Are we strengthening our digestive systems or making ourselves vulnerable to diseases by eating out? We don’t know if the cooks and handlers do maintain any hygiene at all because the kitchen areas are normally out of bounds. At any eatery, do visit the rest room, if it is filthy, scoot. Also, most men who are waiters just are not in the habit of washing their hands after using the loo for peeing. So, even when the water and loo facilities are there, they must be just doing the same and then serving you the food with a smile.
A relative of mine had a horrifying experience when she ate at the most renowned Biryani place in Hyderabad. She found a cockroach in her chicken wings. Luckily, she was vigilant enough. This is a hugely reputed place in Hyderabad! The staff was not even too apologetic about it. They offered to replace it. Right, that is exactly what she wanted, some more of the coated insects!
When you eat out, ignorance is bliss! Close your eyes and shoo away the images of pee and poop. Bon Appétit!
Pic courtesy: Indiantvtoday.com