The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning (MMAUP) has given strict orders to the eateries not to serve hot food and beverages in plastic, foam plates and cups.
The health department officials from MMAUP yesterday visited many eateries and restaurants in the city and directed them to immediately stop serving hot food to its guests and take away customers, in plastic and foam plates.
The officials also warned against serving coffee, tea and other hot drinks in foam cups. There is already a standing order against serving coffee and tea in plastic disposable glasses.
The health inspectors told the eateries and restaurateurs not to use plastic and foam containers to parcel food items. Instead, they were asked to use aluminum plates and containers.
Though there was a standing order not to serve hot foods in plastic plates and glasses, the authorities noticed many eateries tend to violate it and using the hazardous materials to pack food. Some restaurants were also serving hot waters in disposable plastic cups. It is against this backdrop the officials issued strict directives.
“Earlier, we were free to use foam glasses to serve hot drinks. But today the officials told us stop using foam glasses and use paper glasses”, manager of an eatery in Najma told this paper.
A section of restaurateurs said they were using either steel or ceramic plates to serve hot foods in the restaurant. But take away foods are served in plastic plates. Now, the officials have asked them to use the aluminium plates for packing foods.
It has been scientifically proven that plastic and foam plates are not good for packing or serving food items. Experts says that when plastic comes in contact with certain foods, molecules of the chemicals in the plastic can reach into the food or beverage.
The more liquid a food is, the more it touches to the plastic and there is more chance to pick up molecules. Acid foods, such as tomato sauce, appear to be particular by interactive with plastic. Using foam cups for serving hot drinks are also hazardous. Most foam cups and containers are made out of polystyrene chemical. The basic component of this chemical (styrene) has the potential to leach into the food, they say.
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