Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×

By Dr. J.K. Bhutani

To FEED must be a SACRED act, as what we eat eventually mingles with the GODLY soul in us all.


There were times when the kitchens were temples and cooking food was a form of offering to God. The guest was a welcome angel (Atithi Devo bhava) and not a client as of now.

Practicing and looking for FOOD HYGIENE is becoming very important as more and more of us are shifting from essentially ‘home-cooked-family-meals’ to ‘street food-kitty-restaurant-tiffin meals’.


We need to look at the condition of kitchen, the hygiene of the food-maker (most are self-trained cooks) and the choice and cleanliness of ingredients used.

According to the Public Health Association, only 53% of Indians wash their hands with soap after defecating and only 30% before preparing food. Nobody has any figure of the boil/skin-infection, cough-sneezing-tuberculosis-jaundice-history and smoking and alcohol habits or vaccination status of the cooks preparing food on the street, in banquet halls, marriage palaces, restaurants, or even the five-star kitchens.

Coliform bacteria, entamoeba, salmonella, shigella, staphylococcus, hepatitis A-E and many of the poorly handled viral and protozoal infections can EASILY enter from the food if prepared with SULLIED hands of infected cook. Some studies have documented Enterobacteriaceae (Salmonella, Shigela etc) and Staphlococci to be in as much as 44 and 80 percent of food handlers respectively.

A cross-sectional study on food handlers in Central India reported that the frequency of pathogenic organisms on the hands was 56.87%. The different degrees of hand contamination between studies could be explained by the degree of adherence of food handlers to food safety measures and hand washing in different geographic regions and the class of the recruits.

The FOOD-HANDLERS, increasingly, are being recruited from poor, deprived backward sections of society on paltry salaries. Their family backgrounds, education, health and hygiene standards are abysmally low and the GUEST for them is just a client and not GOD as envisioned by Gandhi and our Indian ethos.

Most of the domestic help and cooks in the modern households are no better and there is hardly an effort to improve their hygiene and cleanliness standards.
Mary Mallon, now known as Typhoid Mary, was a healthy woman when she was discovered and quarantined to be the cause of a typhoid epidemic in 1907. The public health concerns are not as robust now. The street-food vendors and the food handlers in banquet halls, marriage palaces and 3-5 star hotels need regulatory health practices.

The municipal bodies or state health bodies can have modular courses and mandatory certifications. Informally, the food handlers and the cooks can be supervised at home and at ‘managed hotels’ for hand-hygiene, infective illness, skin integrity and possibly be convinced of presumptive treatment with anti-helminthic (deworming Albendazole )and anti-protozoal medicines (Metronidazole) periodically along with vaccination for the water –borne diseases like typhoid and hepatitis A.

Till we have MORE hygiene education and prophylactic-preventive care of food-handlers, some tips may be handy.

  1. Check for a rapid-turnover place. Observe hand-hygiene of self and the cook.
  2. Try eating Tandoori Roti/foods directly from Tandoor. A hot fried food (coming from a deep fryer) is also less likely to be infective.
  3. Avoid raw foods, salads, curd, raw cheese and frozen foods when you eat in open ambiance parties. Also, avoid ‘milk-creamy-cheesy’ curries and opt for ‘onion-coriander-condiments’ curries instead.
  4. Have natural beverages like coconut water or steaming hot tea-coffee etc.
  5. And do pay attention and possibly talk about in the places you frequent and eat. A
  6. And have more of get-togethers and parties where the POOLED-HOME COOKED food is a trend and a fashion statement!

Dr J.K. Bhutani, MD is a protagonist of preventive and promotive health care based on austere biology and facilitating self-healing powers of human organism. Twitter: @drjkbhutani


Popular

Unsplash

Using social media in moderation isn't bad. It becomes a problem when this becomes a habit.

By Dr. Vihan Sanyal

Most teenagers use social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram these days. It keeps a person connected to friends across the globe and gives them a window into the lives of people they are connected with.

Multiple studies have shown that teenagers who use social media excessively do so because they are either bored, need an escape from their immediate physical environment, are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, are lonely, have few real-time friends or need to feel appreciated and validated.

Follow NewsGram on Quora Space to get answers to all your questions.

Using social media in moderation isn't bad. In fact, it can help boost serotonin and other feel-good chemicals in the brain and can help uplift a person's mood. Most people take a selfie of themselves and post it on social media, and feel good about themselves when people like their post and comment on it. It becomes a problem when this becomes a habit. Many people feel compelled to post photos of themselves multiple times a day and then keep checking their accounts for the number of likes they have received.

Keep Reading Show less
Unsplash

Ayurveda consists of set practices and lifestyle habits that work to make one healthy, both physically and mentally. Additionally, the herbs and medicines as prescribed in Ayurveda, are wholly natural and retain the ability to cure most diseases without any side effects.

N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

Ayurveda, as mentioned, is the science of life. It is not just a set of general suggestions but a way of living life. It consists of set practices and lifestyle habits that work to make one healthy, both physically and mentally. Additionally, the herbs and medicines as prescribed in Ayurveda, are wholly natural and retain the ability to cure most diseases without any side effects.

Ayush Agrawal, Founder and Director of Rasayanam shares some prominent herbs that are renowned for their use in matters of health and wellness are discussed as follows-

Ashwagandha - Ashwagandha, by reducing the cortisol levels, helps control anxiety and stress. Its use is significant in calming the body and psyche of an individual and also helps in regulating blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Ashwagandha is also popularly consumed as a vigor and strength supplement. Further, it aids muscle mass gain and boosts energy levels in people from all age brackets.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter to stay updated about the World news.

Triphala - This over 1000-year-old remedy constitutes three principal ingredients of Amla, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki which are some of the most famous medicinal plants native to the country. Known for its anti-inflammatory and laxative properties, Triphala is also considered particularly helpful in preventing dental diseases and cavities as well as digestive problems. The many medicinal properties of this herb are what make it so well accepted and preached throughout the country.

Brahmi - Brahmi is primarily used for its significant impact on the brain and its functioning. It is said to improve the brain's retention and memory power as well as its spatial learning abilities. Brahmi is commonly utilized to treat and control symptoms of anxiety, stress, and ADHD. Additionally, it is also consumed to reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure levels.

Keep Reading Show less
Unsplash

Here are some simple and efficient yogic techniques to get in shape. It only takes 15 minutes, and you don't even have to leave the house. These asanas can be done from where you are sitting and during short work breaks.

By Shraddha Iyer

With everyone's hectic schedules, we don't even notice how quickly a day passes and our health suffers as a result. How do you incorporate yoga into your daily routine with such a hectic schedule, and what can you practice?

For all the workaholics out there, here are some simple and efficient yogic techniques to get in shape. It only takes 15 minutes, and you don't even have to leave the house. These asanas can be done from where you are sitting and during short work breaks.

Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated.

Sukha Purvaka Pranayama

This pranayama is effortless breathing that focuses on breathing deeply into each section of the lungs, as the name says. There is a strong emphasis on both internal and exterior breath retention.

Steps:

- Simply breathe in for 4 to 6 counts, filling the lungs up.
- Hold the breath, ideally for the same count, or it can be as long as you can.
- Exhale for 4 to 6 counts, holding the breath out for the same time or as long as you can.
- This completes one round.
- You can start with 10 rounds and increase the repetition with practice.

Keep reading... Show less