Keep out of reach of children!

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The sale of unhygienic and substandard drinks poses a serious threat to health of people, especially children.

The vendors as well as many shopkeepers are selling inferior drinks in various commercial localities of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad which causing health issues.

Flies, wasps, mosquitoes and other such pests at the stalls of vendors make their beverages harmful to health,” said Dr Ikramul Haq.

“Juices of stale fruits at low price, especially at various bus stands and other places are not observing any hygiene standards while serving the drinks to their customers, these drinks are sometimes sold in reused bottles without proper wash,” he said.

Dr Haq said that some ingredients used in these drinks are injurious to health such as most of the roadside vendors are using illegal and highly toxic food colours and (saccharin) instead of sugar in the drinks, adding that the red colour frequently used in cold drinks was not good for health.

As a result, these drinks pass on different bacteria and viruses to the customers, he said.

“Sale of spurious cold drinks or drinks prepared under poor hygienic conditions is one of the main causes of various seasonal diseases among children especially in summer,” he added.

Aliya, a mother, said the sale of unhygienic food items continue all the year without any check by the concerned authorities adding that the situation has grown more serious in this summer.

“Children are the worst victims of it as they get attracted easily to the colours and tastes of these drinks and ultimately fall ill”, she added.

She said her eight-year-old son is undergoing treatment in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital after drinking a few glasses of spurious cold drinks.

Almost all the juice and cold drink sellers use ice to make the drinks, many ice factory owners use polluted river water to make ice for which is injurious, said Dr Firdous, a general physician.

She argued that food adulteration has always been a major contributor to the health issues due to ineffective control of the authorities.

The doctor also warned that substandard drinks and edibles may cause diseases like typhoid, hepatitis, diarrhoea, different kinds of infections and tonsillitis.

The ratio of the diseases increases by 50 per cent in summer because of unhygienic food and drinks, he said and demanded the government to immediately impose a ban on the sale of unhygienic food especially outside schools.