Growing up in a city like Kolkata and exploring every part of it means not being able to resist falling in love with the city’s street food. However, sometimes street food can make us fall sick due to poor hygiene standards.
Here are some tips you should keep in mind while trying street food in any part of India.
1. Prefer freshly cooked food
A dish that is prepared in front of you is fresh and you can see the ingredients being used. Dishes like Dosa, Pav bhaji, Rolls are a good option.
2. Avoid non-vegetarian
When you're in a new city and don't trust the hygiene standards of the local street foods. It is a better option to choose vegetarian dishes over non-vegetarian as in the street food centres meat is stored for a longer time which degrades its quality.
3. Eat healthy dishes
Different places in India not only offer different varieties of lip-smacking dishes but also healthier options such as steamed momos, boiled corn, poha and many more.
4. Avoid water or ice-based drinks
Choosing fruit juice or milk-based drinks over water or ice-based drinks is a healthier option as the water or ice often used are of poor quality and may lead to water-borne diseases like typhoid.
5. Avoid 'open food' stalls
Stalls that keep their food open without any lid or covering are prone to diseases and germs. Avoid them.
6. Follow the queue
Another tip for new street food hoppers always follows the queue of people as its popularity will automatically give you some idea about the food quality and hygiene of the place.
7. Check for cleanliness
Whenever you visit a new place check whether the plates are clean, the kitchen meets hygiene standards, the packaging facilities, etc.
8. Choose stalls that serve food in disposable utensils
Germs and diseases not only come from the food itself but also the plate in which it is served or the cutlery used to eat it. It is safe to choose stalls that serve food in disposable items.
9. Avoid deep-fried items
Since street food stalls make food items in bulk quantities, they require a huge amount of oil to prepare it. The oil is often re-used for several days which is a bane if you want to maintain your health standard.
10. Talk to the locals
Talking to the local people who are daily customers give knowledge regarding the quality of food and hygiene standards maintained by a particular shop. They can also refer you to the top places and all the necessary details.
11. Social Media
For some extra information, it is always good to research a bit about the street food you would like to eat. Social media is a good platform as several food bloggers are posting regularly about different street food items with detailed descriptions.
12. Opt for takeaway
To be on the safe side, it is always a good option to eat the food at home instead of on the street as the food gets exposed to several pollutants and bacteria.
13. Sanitize your hands
Always carry a sanitizer and use it before you eat the food and prevent the germs from entering your stomach. Also if there is an option to wash your hands, always choose the latter.
14. Do not overeat
Street foods in India offer us numerous varieties and often we want to try all of them. It is always wise to make a list of the dishes you want to eat depending on your health.
15. Use medication
If you are a person with a low immune system or have digestive problems, always take medicines to avoid getting sick.
India is a country with a wide range of cuisines, thalis, and dishes along with a wider range of street food items. Being a country rich in spices, traditional recipes and brilliant cooking-minds to come up with such, it’s time you go out and explore. It’s time you give a treat to your taste-buds. Happy eating!
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