SRINAGAR, Jan 16: The Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday warned about wrapping of food items in newspaper sheets, saying that it carries health risks.
The DAK has said that wrapping of food items including oily snacks in newspaper sheets is very common in Kashmir. “Some of these oily food items do absorb ink of newspapers and may prove harmful for health,” they said.
“Such practice of covering food items in newspaper is not without health risk. Newspapers used for packaged foods are made of recycled paper that may be contaminated with harmful chemicals like diisobutyl phthalate and di-n-butyl phthalate, which can cause digestive problems and also lead to severe toxicity,” they added.
Recycled paper also has printing ink residues trapped from previous prints. These trapped residues have found to toxins like benzophenone and mineral oil, the medicos said, adding that printing inks may also contain harmful colours, pigments, binders, additives, and preservatives.
“Besides chemical contaminants, presence of pathogenic micro organisms in used newspapers also poses potential risk to human health and may result in acute gastrointestinal infections including hepatitis,” the experts cautioned.
“Wrapping food items in newspaper is bad for the health as its ink has multiple bioactive materials with known negative health effects and such unhealthy practice may prove injurious and fatal to your health, even if the food has been cooked hygienically,” they said, adding that printing inks may also contain harmful colours, pigments, binders, additives, and preservatives.
Besides chemical contaminants, presence of pathogenic micro organisms in used newspapers also poses potential risk to human health.
Meanwhile, DAK urged food regulatory authorities to ban such practice of wrapping and covering food items in newspapers in Kashmir. DAK said it has been observed that vendors have been using newspapers in packing and serving food like fried fish, fried potatoes and pakoodas, which is harmful and injurious to health.
DAK president Dr Suhail Naik told that Kashmir is famous for shrines and Sufism. “People in thousands throng shrines every day for worship and religious belief. It is not uncommon to see a buzzing market outside shrines selling variety of fried oil ready to eat foods.
People not only cherish these fried foods but also consider them as relic and took them wrapped in newspapers as a gift for their families,” he added. DAK president Dr Suhail Naik urged public to dissuade the vendors from doing so.