As temperatures soar in the city and its suburbs, the sale of unhygienic beverages has seen a worrying increase, putting citizens, especially children, at a heightened risk of health hazards. Authorities, however, have remained silent spectators, failing to address the issue.
Reports suggest that the business of sub-standard drinks involves individuals filling empty bottles with a mixture of different colors and sugar in unclean water. Vendors are even selling these unhygienic beverages in reused bottles that have not been adequately cleaned.
The majority of these vendors can be found near main roads, schools, and bus and wagon stands, where they entice customers with low prices to beat the heat. Unfortunately, safety standards are not followed during the utensil-washing process, further compromising hygiene.
Child Specialist Dr. Mazhar Ali Shah, speaking to the media, highlighted the severe health risks associated with consuming such sub-standard drinks and food. Typhoid, hepatitis, diarrhea, and various infections are among the potential consequences, particularly for children. Dr. Shah urged parents to refrain from giving their children such low-quality unhygienic beverages and instead provide them with homemade juices and food. He emphasized that the incidence of these diseases increases during the summer due to the consumption of unhygienic food and drinks.
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Concerned citizens have called upon the government to develop a comprehensive plan to regulate the production and sale of such food items. They stressed that children are particularly vulnerable as they are easily enticed by vibrant colors and enticing flavors. While the sale of unhygienic items continues unchecked throughout the year, the situation worsens during the summer due to increased demand.
One citizen, Muhammad Irfan, shared his personal experience of his six-year-old son falling seriously ill last year after consuming spurious juice from a roadside vendor near his school. Since then, he has prohibited his children from purchasing unhealthy drinks and food items from such sources. Taking precautionary measures, he now diligently monitors his children’s food and drinks both at home and outside to protect them from diseases.