According to a report by the Free Press Journal, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked the state commissioners of Food Safety to initiate a campaign that encourages safe handling of food and currency. The move came about after various studies were conducted on the currency coins which are completely contaminated.
Contaminated Food And Currency
“The handling of currency with unclean and soiled hands, use of saliva during counting and storage under unhygienic conditions leads to its contamination with a harmful micro-organism.” read the notification according to the Free Press Journal. “Cross-contamination from currency risks human health and causes serious diseases like food poisoning, gastrointestinal infection, skin problems and many more. Especially, children and pregnant women and with weak immune system person are more vulnerable to such infections,” said Dr Om Srivastava, Infection Disease Specialist to the publication.
The focus here is on the food vendors particularly because they tend to give out food and collect money with the same hand and are now going to be discouraged of the practice. “After handling currency, hands should be thoroughly washed before touching food items and vice-versa,” the notification stated. The notification also said that V K Panchal, Deputy Director of FSSAI, Mumbai said that money can be collected with bare hands but the food should be handled while wearing gloves.
He also added that while educated and knowledgeable food vendors will comply, it is the smaller food stalls at various corners of the city is what might cause a problem. “The vendor can try to control the spread by keeping extra hand/assistant for handling of currency exclusively, but that will add to his costing. If the consumer understands the genuine reason and agrees to pay that extra rupee for his protection, the move will be successful,” said Panchal to the Free Press Journal.