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Food hygiene and safety... By Afia

11 December, 2012

In what can only be described as a very unfortunate affair, some 60 wedding guests, including the bride and the groom, have fallen terribly ill after attending an ill-fated 'Walima' ceremony in Islamabad. All of them have come down with a virulent form of food poisoning, landing them all in hospital where they are now on electrolyte drips and heavy doses of antibiotics. The sheer number of people infected has prompted the secretariat police to take samples from the food served at the event.

It is unfortunate that such incidents are not uncommon in Pakistan. So many times, even I have attended wedding/birthday functions and have come home only to be sick afterwards. There have to be some rules and standards that must be applied when it comes to food and drink. Even our restaurants and top-notch hotels fail to meet adequate benchmarks of hygiene and food safety yet they continue to enjoy immunity from inspection. I have heard many tales of under-the-table dealings so that these places are allowed to operate instead of being shut down due to bad hygiene standards. The government has to make sure that the department of food inspection is up and running — such incidents are becoming too common.

AFIA KHAN
Lahore

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