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Why 'kibanda' food is better than a five-star hotel's

 Your food should be served fresh and sizzling hot (Photo: iStock)

There has been an ongoing saga about noise pollution emanating from restaurants within the city. Part of the argument has been the health consequences related to loud and prolonged noise filtering into residential neighbourhoods.

But noise is only part of what you should worry about, additional health consequences are linked to what you end up eating and drinking wherever you patronise.

A casual survey in any county will reveal all sorts of eateries. They range from roadside ramshackle to the other extreme of formal five-star establishments.

In between will be all manner of eateries. They are all differentiated by what they serve, how much it costs, and the overall quality of food handling standards and hygiene. When selecting an eatery, you must think of what eventually ends up in your guts, and what that could do to you.

You must have heard of food-borne diseases. These are diseases that are related to how food is handled, and are highly infectious and sometimes lethal.

A good example is cholera, which gets into our news headlines every now and again. In fact, years ago, a WHO report suggested that food-borne diseases are a problem in Kenya. What shouldn't be surprising is that food-borne diseases are entirely preventable.

So get your food from an eatery that appears to have the right food handling standards. The establishment must be duly licensed. There must be obvious hygienic standards. The setup must be clean, ranging from the waiters to utensils.

There must be readily available water to wash hands. The food being served should best be fresh and sizzling hot. Most disease-causing organisms are destroyed by heat, and that remains your best defence where standards are low.

What you drink also matters. Piped water may still be ok if municipal water sanitation standards are reliable. If in doubt, get yourself bottled water from a dependable brand. Or request for boiled tap water.

Seemingly freshly prepared fruit juices may not tick all the hygienic precautions. Some of such tend to be lethal incubators of harmful bacteria, mostly from poor handling and recycled leftovers.

Don't just go for star ratings when selecting eateries. Some of the freshest and healthiest foods are found in ordinary food establishments. Equally, some five-star rated establishments may serve you the worst kind of food.

If you spot any unhygienic practices, best to cancel your order and go elsewhere. And give appropriate feedback. You shouldn't ever end up with a foodborne illness just because you patronised an eatery with terrible food handling standards.

Dr Alfred Murage is a Consultant Gynecologist and Fertility Specialist. [email protected]

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