Street food vendors in Hyderabad, India have some food safety issues

I’m a food truck kind of guy, but I prefer to eat from places that have to follow the basic rules of sanitation. In North Carolina mobile food vendors have to be linked up with a physical kitchen (for cooling and prepping food) and even then they are inspected. Keeping food safe in a truck can be done, but it takes vigilance and a sense of hazard identification.

And not using water from a toilet.1680787-poster-1280-water-reuse-graphic

Like what the Times of India reported about some street food vendors in Hyderabad, India.

Every sixth Hyderabadi taking street food is falling sick from food-borne infections (whoa, I’d like to see the data -ben), says a study that directly observed the hygienic practices followed by 500 food vendors and small restaurants in different parts of the city. 

The most common ailments reported by denizens after eating street food or ‘stale’ food served by some established restaurants are diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, reveals a study released to mark the ‘food safety’ theme on World Health Day. 

And here’s why: The majority of street food vendors (423 out of 500 surveyed) were found drawing untreated water for cooking from nearby apartments, while only seven were using protective head cover. None were using protective gloves and almost all used nearby shops to dump their raw material overnight. 

“Our team, which also communicated with customers, came across around 50 vendors with tobacco addiction, leaving the remnants of the ash on the food being served,” said Dr K Suresh, president of Osmania Medical College Doctors’ Forum, who led the study. 

Worse, 15 out of 500 vendors were found drawing water for cooking from toilets of nearby apartments, while almost all were found to skip hand washing after a visit to the toilet or lavatory. This is what the 30-member team of MBBS undergraduates led by Dr Suresh found after analyzing data gathered from street- vendors from December-2014 to February-2015.

Top 10 UK toilets through time

A Scottish food safety friend sent along this story from English Heritage which has some great pics.

1. Housesteads Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall: All together now…

Toilet-bannerThe best preserved Roman loos in Britain are at Housesteads Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall. At its height, the fort was garrisoned by 800 men, who would use the loo block you can still see today. There weren’t any cubicles, so men sat side by side, free to gossip on the events of the day. They didn’t have loo roll either, so many used a sponge on a stick, washed and shared by many people.

Visit Housesteads Roman Fort

2. Old Sarum, Wiltshire: Luxury facilities, until you have to clean them…

These deep cesspits sat beneath the Norman castle at Old Sarum, probably underneath rooms reached from the main range, like private bathrooms. In the medieval period luxury castles were built with indoor toilets known as ‘garderobes’, and the waste dropped into a pit below. It was the job of the ‘Gongfarmer’ to remove it

Visit Old Sarum

3. Dover Castle, Kent: The royal wee

Henry II made sure that Dover Castle was well provided with garderobes. He had his own en-suite facilities off the principal bed-chamber. As with many castles of the era, chutes beneath the garderobes were built so that the waste fell into a pit which could be emptied from outside the building.

Visit Dover Castle

4. Goodrich Castle, Herefordshire: The toilet tower

At Goodrich Castle there’s a whole tower dedicated to doing your business.

Visit Goodrich Castle

5. Orford Castle, Suffolk: A Norman urinal

Garderobes are quite common in medieval castles, but urinals are a little more unusual. Henry II’s Orford Castlewas built as a show of royal power, and to guard the busy port of Orford.

Visit Orford Castle

6. Muchelney Abbey, Somerset: Thatched loo for monks

Many medieval abbey ruins across the country include the remains of the latrines, or ‘reredorter’ (meaning literally ‘at the back of the dormitory’), including Muchelney AbbeyCastle Acre Priory and Battle Abbey. At Muchelney the building survives with a thatched roof, making it the only one of its kind in Britain. The monks would enter the loo block via their dormitory and take their place in a cubicle – you can still see the fixings for the bench and partitions between each seat.

Visit Muchelney Abbey

7. Jewel Tower, London: The Privy Palace

A precious survival from the medieval Palace of Westminster, Jewel Tower was part of the ‘Privy Palace’, the residence of the medieval kings and their families from 11th to 16th century. It was well supplied with garderobes, with one on each of the three floors.

Visit Jewel Tower

8. Old Wardour Castle, Wiltshire: ‘A new discourse of a stale subject’

The forerunner to our modern flushing toilet was invented at Old Wardour Castle. The inventor Sir John Harington met with five others at the castle to discuss his idea for the first time in 1592.

Visit Old Wardour Castle

Thunderbox9. Audley End House, Essex: Feeling flush

Along with many other technological advancements, Audley End was one of the first country houses in England to have flushing toilets. The first of Joseph Bramah’s new hinged-valve water closets was purchased in 1775, and a further 4 were bought in 1785 at a cost equivalent to the wages of two servants for a whole year.

Visit Audley End

10. Brodsworth Hall, South Yorkshire: Thunderboxes

Inside the elegant Victorian country house of Brodsworth Hall almost everything has been left exactly as it was when it was still a family home. So as well as the grand furniture, there’s also everything from the commodes of the 1840s to a modern pink bathroom from the 1960s/70s.

Visit Brodsworth Hall

Proper handwashing, pooping require proper tools: Dirty school bathrooms give students diarrhea in Vietnam

And it’s not just Vietnam.

Dirty toilets and bathrooms gave 40 per cent of Ho Chi Minh City students diarrhea, according to UNICEF Viet Nam.

dirty.bathroomLast month, the city’s Health Department reported that 220 students at District 12’s Nguyen Khuyen Elementary School were unable to go to school, as they suffered a digestion-related disease caused by unclean school toilets. Two children in the southern city died in July from a similar condition.

The Ministry of Health reported 3,719 diarrhea cases in HCM City in the first six months of 2014 out of 301,570 nationwide in the first eight months.

School bathrooms and toilets in urban areas of the city are often in poor condition due to the large number of students and teachers that use them, as well as the lack of soap and fresh water for cleaning.

vietnam.ToiletThe problem is even worse in rural areas of HCM City, where schools have no bathrooms at all. In those areas, 27 per cent of children have to go to the toilet outside the school.

A chocolate toilet? A $133,000 bathroom suite made out of Belgian chocolate

When I think chocolate toilet, I’m thinking of some 50-something digestive issue that explodes way too fast., a bathroom furniture retail site, and U.K.-based chocolatiers Choccywoccydoodah have gotten together to create a bathroom furnished with Belgian chocolate. The set is being advertised on, a site Chief Executive Ian Monk decided to create after seeing people frequently mispell suite as sweet.

“We realized that over a million British people searching for new bathrooms were popping ‘bathroom sweets,’ rather than ‘bathroom suites’ into their preferred search engines,” said Monk in a statement on “The simple mistake caught our imagination, what if we created a bathroom suite, out of something sweet?”

The Maderno Sweet bathroom set includes a 210,000-calorie chocolate bidet, a 210,000-calorie chocolate sink, an 8 million-calorie chocolate tub and a 980,000-calorie chocolate toilet. The entire set has 9.4 million calories and is listed for sale on the site for $133,040. Or you can purchase the pieces individually. Everything is made fresh, so you can expect a two- to three-month wait time.

eaten, can be kept at room temperature for years. And you can add a layer of varnish if you’d like to preserve your sweet suite even longer.

Time in the toilet can taint a lovely night out for dinner

My first story as editor of the Ontarion, the University of Guelph student paper, in 1987, was based on rating local food service bathrooms.

dirtytoiletI went to local bars — and it cost the paper thousands in lost advertising revenue cause they didn’t like the results. This was before restaurant inspection disclosure.

Someone in New Zealand has picked up on the theme, writing that it’s amazing how there is no such thing as a toilet critic and, conversely, food critics abound.

Some of these restaurants, good ones even, have their toilets in impossible places, like through the kitchen and down a grimy flight of stairs, under another set of stairs.

Secondly, in the event of toilet paper being available, it is often more like sandpaper or, worse still, so brittle it’s unusable. One needn’t go into detail about what a mental and physical mess this can plop one into.

Thirdly, some toilets are so often in a state of splashed-out, soiled hideousness they cannot be used at all, but this is only speaking on the part of a male user of a male dunny. (We men tend to not notice the subtleties and nuances of bathroom tidiness, cleanliness and hygiene, as we’re a bit too tall to see down into the bowl, among other factors.) Even so, it evidently isn’t a punishable offence to leave a toilet in a state of multi-sensory stink by not cleaning up after oneself. In such instances, a greatly skilled toilet attendant could be very handy indeed. It would make dining life a lot more pleasant.

Fourth, a loo-user is frequently short-changed when it comes to washing and drying their hands, as the poor old Loser (Loo-user) regularly finds himself without soap or hot water, hand wipes, hand towels, a hand-dryer, or indeed any of the above. 

Toilet themed restaurant in LA craps out

It seems that customers really didn’t want to eat murky brown curry from a mini toilet.

Los Angeles’ Magic Restroom Café- a bathroom themed eatery- closed its doors over Memorial Day weekend.

Magic Restroom CaféThe Taiwanese food joint stayed open just eight months, Los Angeles Magazine reports. 

Customers with iron stomachs sat on individual porcelain thrones while dining on dishes like “smells like poop” (pork over rice) or “bloody number two” (strawberry-vanilla sundae). According to various Yelp reviews, the questionable fare at Magic Restroom Cafe was likely to induce some quality time on a real latrine. 

‘You could smell E. coli’ UK residents appalled by public toilet

Orpington toilets have been described as a ‘disgrace’ by a disgusted resident.

Sylvia Rowan, of Red Cedars Road, used the facilities near the Walnuts Shopping Centre off the High Street earlier this month and trainspotting-toiletwas appalled by what she found while a councillor blames the ‘animalistic behaviour of a sad minority’.

Mrs Rowan spoke to other concerned visitors, one of whom said she could “smell E.coli”.

The 76-year-old said:  “The only free toilet, which isn’t in a cafe, restaurant or bar is in a disgusting state, both in repair, cleanliness and hygiene. The smell was awful.

“One toilet was completely blocked (no note on the door) with floating matter on show. The men’s toilet is just as bad.

“I bumped into a lady there who said she was an environmentalist and she could smell E.coli.

“Being right next to a food establishment (Sainsbury’s) and a new library in the Walnuts Shopping Centre, this is a disgrace.”

Why I never buy coffee; upscale Hong Kong Starbucks gets water from toilet tap?

A Starbucks in the Bank of China Tower has been using water from a tap in a toilet to make beverages since its opening in October 2011.

USA Today reports that images from local newspaper Apple Daily showed the tap with a sign that said “Starbucks only” a few feet away from a urinal Toilet-Water-Coffee-in-Hong-Kong-Starbucks-Makes-Customers-Uneasyin the dingy washroom, which the paper said was in the building’s carpark.

“Starbucks, you need to make an open declaration that such crap is not repeated anywhere else, and fire the idiot who thought up such kind of water supply ‘solution,’ ” wrote one angry customer on Starbuck’s Hong Kong Facebook page.

In its response to the poster, the store apologized. “While the water used at that store was drinking water and certified as safe, we would like to clarify any misperceptions, as quality and safety have always been our top priority,” the store’s post said. “We are now using distilled water to serve that store while we work with all parties on acceptable options.”

Starbucks spokeswoman Wendy Pang told the AFP that the water was collected less than five times a day by staff from a tap in a toilet located near the store that was dedicated for collecting drinking water.

“There is no direct water supply to that particular store, that’s why we need to obtain the drinking water from the nearest source in the building,” Pang said.

The water from the toilet tap would go through a filtration system in the store ensuring it passed local and World Health Organization standards, Pang said.

Hong Kong University School of Public Health professor Benjamin Cowling told the AFP the worry is that pathogens from the restroom will end up in the Starbucks food preparation area.

“I wouldn’t go to the restaurant in the first place if I knew they were having potentially risky hygiene practices,” Cowling said.

Smartphone-controlled toilet features remote lid, speakers, app

Parents are fascinated with baby poop and engage in Dickensonian descriptions with other people who don’t care.

Babies grow up and poop on the toilet: “Daddy, look at my enormous poop.”

As a four-year-old, Sorenne’s favorite saying, repeated about 10 times a day, seems to be, “I farted, excuse me.”

Once she hits puberty, this fascination will end, and I will be nothing more than an embarrassment.

As people age, poop again becomes conversational.

And then it’s Depends.

But leave it to the bacterially-adverse Japanese to develop smartphones that can control a toilet.

Created by Japanese company Lixil under its INAX brand of products, the Satis is a Bluetooth-capable commode that users can command via an Android app. The super-toilet enables hands-free flushing and toilet-seat lifting, among other actions, according to website Japan Trends.

Called “My Satis,” the app also lets users play music through the toilet’s speakers, and set up a toilet diary to monitor their regular washroom sessions. 

Toilet brew strikes Utah prisoners with botulism

The Salt Lake Valley Health Department confirmed Wednesday it is investigating an illness — suspected to be foodborne botulism — in 12 inmates of the Utah State Prison.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports eight inmates, three of whom are in critical condition, are receiving treatment at a local hospital, and four are under medical observation at the prison.

All the affected inmates consumed home-made alcohol brewed inside a cell at the prison, according to a health department news release.

The inmates affected likely came in contact with the bacteria by drinking brew, alcohol made in a cell, apparently in a plastic bag. Inmates often use fruit, water and sugar to craft the brew, which they often hide in the cell’s toilet, and when those foods are in an anaerobic environment they can create a breeding ground for the bacteria.

According to confiscation reports obtained earlier this year by The Tribune, brew is made fairly frequently, with 44 confiscations of the substance occurring between October 2009 and December 2010. However, the prison has not ever had a case of botulism, according to Nicholas Rupp, public information officer for the health department.

But "there’s always a health risk any time there is inappropriate food handling," Rupp added.