Lack of cleanliness and unhygienic conditions of the hospital canteens and food stalls around the medical facilities of the twin cities posing serious health threat to the patients and their care-takers.
“Vermin, cockroaches and mouse dropping, medical waste on food handling equipment and poor hygienic conditions of the catering staff are the main reasons of such affairs.”
A patient, Hashim Iqbal, at a local hospital, said that hospitals have no proper arrangements to store food at proper temperature. Moreover, expired foods are served to the patients, putting their health at risk.
Neither the hospital management, nor the city authorities ever bothered to ensure that canteens and cafeterias in and around hospitals meet basic standards of cleanliness and hygiene.
Sick people are vulnerable to infection. Such unhygienic food is added threat to the health of the patients and their families/care-takers, he said.
Patients have a right to know how their food is being prepared. Hygiene standards must be made public via clear and accessible ratings for each institution, he added.
The worst performers should be named and while those doing well would stand as an example for maintaining standards. PIMS is one of the hospitals which is always crowded with hundreds of people but the canteens operating inside and outside its boundary walls are providing very low quality foods, juices and water, another visitor of the hospital, Ghulam Muhammad said.
The patients at the hospital said the authorities should take the owners of the canteens to task for playing with the health of the people. They also complained that the canteen owners were fleecing the patients with both hands by providing substandard food items at exorbitant rates.
Dr Asim at PIMSHospital said that the administration has formulated a three member committee to ensure regular checking and looking into issues pertaining to food and canteens. The committee is taking some steps to upgrade the standard of canteen and provide the food items to the patients on reasonable prices, he added.