Consuming street food is a traditional and universal practice. Originating in Asia, it has become an essential part of the daily routine of the working population or as part of the discovery during an international trip for tourists. However, many people question their sanity and cleanliness.
What Are the Characteristics of Street Food?
Street food is the sale of food and beverages in the street or any other public space, especially by a street vendor or a merchant with outdoor facilities (food trucks, stands, carts, kiosks, etc.). In addition, it can be presented in the form of “takeaway” or to be consumed on the spot, but quickly. The conditions of preparation are identical to those of restaurants. Therefore, many restaurants have been inspired by the principles used by street foods.
What Are the Advantages of Street Food?
Consuming street food has many interests. Indeed, it gets as close as possible to the consumers and creates an actual social link by gathering a beautiful world in the street around a common interest, which is food. Moreover, it is cheap compared to the food offered by restaurants. However, its price does not prevent it from being tasty.
Moreover, it is constantly evolving and adapting to the population’s lifestyle. Indeed, nowadays, some street food specialists offer a variety of dishes, such as organic, vegetarian, exotic, etc. And they use the latest appliances to prepare them, such as mini-fridges, professional crepe makers, electric planchas, etc.
In addition, it highlights the local products and culinary heritage. It is a matter of course for tourists to stroll through the local market or stop by the roadside to taste the local street food and enjoy a unique culinary experience. This is the case during a trip to Thailand, for example: to taste pad thai, spicy som tam, or steaming kebabs.
What Are the Challenges of Street Food?
The street food phenomenon is not entirely commendable, as it puts public health at stake. The preparation, preservation, and sale of street food can lead to food poisoning, illness, infection, and even death. Hence the establishment of strict surveillance by the various competent authorities, such as the French Agency for Food Safety.
Moreover, opening a street food business is subject to an administrative procedure. First, the owner must register his establishment with the Trade and Companies Registry. At the same time, he must register with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Trades and Crafts. But it is also compulsory that the establishment has at least one person in its team who has undergone training in hygiene.
To What Extent Is Street Food Hygienic?
In terms of hygiene, street food is subject to a certain number of practices regarding food handling to avoid possible health problems. In other words, street food establishments have the same hygiene and food safety obligations as classic restaurants. There are 6 parameters to respect to say that street food is hygienic. These parameters are:
-the cleanliness of the hands
-the wearing of the required kitchen clothes for the cooks
-the cleanliness of all installations, utensils, and appliances to be used
-proper cooking of food
-the separation of raw and cooked food
-the good conservation of food according to their sensitivity
In short, when these parameters are closely observed, the risks of sanitary dangers are reduced to a minimum. Otherwise, they develop and, as a result, the establishment concerned will be forced to close its doors.