Poisonous ‘Metanil Yellow’ Found In Kolkata Street Food: Dangerous ‘Metanil Yellow’ Detected In College Street Area Street Food, Raising The Risk Of Cancer

Venturing through the streets of Kolkata, one cannot resist the allure of its street food delights. From bustling intersections to local fairs, fuchka, ghugni, egg rolls, and chowmein are omnipresent, offering a taste of the city’s culinary culture. However, concealed within these savoury treats lies a silent killer—the presence of Metanil Yellow, a cancer-causing agent.

Recent events at a prominent hospital courtyard in Mid-Kolkata have shed light on this alarming issue. The bustling College Street area, known for its vibrant street food scene, has been at the centre of attention. Following an inspection by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation's (KMC) Food Safety Department, several food establishments were found to be serving dishes contaminated with Metanil Yellow.

Metanil yellow, classified as a synthetic dye, is strictly prohibited for use in food items by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Despite the ban, unscrupulous vendors continue to use this harmful chemical to enhance the visual appeal of their dishes. The allure of vibrant colours comes at a grave cost, as metanil yellow contains carcinogenic compounds like metabolites and diafenalamine.

Dr. Tarun Safui, an official from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation's Food Safety Department, has emphasised the urgency of the situation. Following inspections of eight food outlets in the College Street area, samples of 27 different food items were collected. Shockingly, metanil yellow contamination was detected in dishes like egg curry and ghugni.

In response to these findings, stringent measures have been implemented by the authorities. All food vendors in the College Street area have been instructed to prominently display their FSSAI licenses and registration numbers. Additionally, meticulous record-keeping of sales transactions has been mandated to ensure accountability.

This isn't the first instance of food adulteration in Kolkata. Previously, metanil yellow was found in sweets like besan laddu, and turmeric powder was used for cooking. Now, with its infiltration into street food joints, the health risks have escalated. The long-term consumption of these tainted foods poses a grave threat to public health, with the potential for increased cancer risk.

It is imperative for consumers to exercise caution when indulging in street food. Vigilance and adherence to food safety regulations are crucial in safeguarding public health and combating the menace of food adulteration. Only through concerted efforts and stringent enforcement can Kolkata’s culinary landscape be purged of hazardous contaminants, ensuring a safer dining experience for all.

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