Tips for dining on the go

POLOKWANE – Street dining, or buying food from vendors, has become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more vendors are popping up on street corners in the city.

BONUS spoke to a street vendor for tips on eating safely when buying food on the go.

“Although the quality, aroma and taste of the food might be great, you are still at risk of suffering from food poisoning resulting from poor food hygiene,” Maria Sethata told BONUS.

She has been a street food vendor for the past seven years and advises people on how to safely enjoy a meal when eating out.

Her tips are:

1. Don’t drink water from an unknown source, always buy bottled water when ordering your food and don’t ask for ice when ordering your drinks.

2. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables from people who are not regularly seen selling them.

3. Watch the preparation of your food.

It is advised that people monitor the food preparation, making sure everything is washed properly, and all the ingredients used for making the meal are fresh. By doing that, one can easily tell whether the meat, poultry, seafood and egg dishes are under-cooked or overcooked.

4. Choose busy street vendors. Busy food stands are a good sign that the food is not going to make you ill. It also shows that the food served there is delicious and affordable.

5. Pay attention to details. If you can spot a dirty plate on the side, or a cook whose hands are not washed properly, or if rats and cockroaches are running around, don’t eat there.

Cleanliness and tidiness are the key. You should always look around and check the entire site, stall or stand to see if the food displayed is clean and that the tables and seating area are clean.

Maria said some street vendors make a living by feeding people and they need the support of the community to buy their food.

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Riana Joubert

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