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Street Vendors Survey - An Insight

Street foods account for a significant proportion of daily urban food consumption for millions of consumers in urban areas, representing the least expensive and most accessible means of obtaining a meal outside home. However, these street foods often do not meet proper hygienic standards and may lead to food-borne illnesses. The main objective of the present study was to assess the adherence to food hygiene practices and FSSAI guidelines by street food vendors in Mysuru city. Also effect of design, construction and maintenance of street food cart and their effect on food quality was assessed. The survey was conducted by AcSIR doctoral students of CSIR-CFTRI, Mysore: Anusha Jahagirdar, Darshan Narayan and Kamireddy Kiran. Vendors and Consumers were selected randomly for 9 zones in the city. In Each zone, 22 vendors and 22 consumers were interviewed with a questionnaire in kannada. Overall it included 200 vendors and 200 customers, which is equal to 14% of number of street vendors. Major findings are listed below:

  • The major serving from the carts included Chats such as pani puri, South Indian food like dosa, idli and Chinese items like gobi manchurian. The survey has also highlighted that only 6 % of food was cooked at home, 62% partially at home and the rest at the vending site.
  • Preference is found more for vegetarian dishes at the vending cart.
  • The street vendors expressed that cart used by them is very inadequate as it involves lot of physical labour. This is the area which needed lot of attention.
  • 52% of the vendors used water from the supply of Municipal Corporation and 15% from mineral water. Rest 33% was sourced from borewell. The customers expressed preference for mineral water and usage of ecofriendly plates.
  • Around 75 % of the vendors displayed food without covering which is a major area of safety concern.
  • Majority of the food vendors are found too close to thoroughfare, which exposes food to dust and particulate matter.
  • Consumers expressed that the proposed food zones by Corporation can address these issues for evolving a better and hygienic surroundings for street vendors.
  • Further more awareness regarding hygienic practices and FSSAI rules are suggested by street vendors.
Workshop for Street Food Vendors of Mysuru City on March 17, 2016

Street food has been an integral part of urban lifestyle. Despite ensuring tasty, affordable and diverse food to the consumers, street food vendors are often unaware of the best hygienic practices. The challenges for the policy makers are to ensure that the street food vendors maintain quality and hygiene of the food which is delivered to consumers. CSIR-CFTRI as part of its outreach programme in association with the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) and Street Vendors Association of the city has formulated a unique programme for the benefit of both street vendors and consumers in the city.

Initially, a study was undertaken by the AcSIR doctoral students of CSIR-CFTRI to assess the hygiene and overall status amongst street food vendors in Mysore city. Inputs from around 200 street food vendors along with consumers were gathered by a questionnaire. The findings along with best practices for hygiene and food safety are to be presented in a half-a-day workshop, "ENSURING SAFE STREET FOOD IN INDIA'S CLEANEST CITY" scheduled on March 17, 2016 at the Institute. The participants, around 100 of them, will be provided with a basic kit consisting of apron, gloves, caps, sanitisers along with relevant information booklet. The workshop aims at shedding light on issues such as the common problems faced by street vendors, maintenance of hygiene in and around the vending spots, empowering street vendors with basic knowledge about food safety and so on.

The programme will be inaugurated by Dr. C.G. Betsurmath, Commissioner, MCC and presided over by Prof. Ram Rajasekharan, Director, CSIR-CFTRI, Mysuru. Speaking of the workshop, Prof. Ram Rajasekharan stated that CSIR-CFTRI would like to impart its scientific knowledge and expertise for ensuring clean, safe, nutritious and affordable street food in Mysuru city by creating awareness and disseminating basic and essential knowledge to street vendors, making them responsible food handlers, especially in the context of the city having been declared as the cleanest city in India for the two consecutive terms.


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