Who doesn’t love a bit of greasy street food across Latin America? From tacos and burros in Mexico, to delicious baked empanadas in Argentina and corn arepas filled with whatever takes your fancy in Colombia and Venezuela.
But a report from Colombian news channel Caracol noticias could put you right off your lunch.
“We have found traces of feces due to the form in which food is stored, and furthermore, products which require refrigeration are not properly monitored.”Carlos Borja, from Bogotá’s council office commented.
The report comes after the Santa Fé locality, in the center of Bogotá, unearthed 12 parking lots where food was being inappropriately stored.
Food for thought
Meat, including sausages, and fried goods were found to be “stored inappropriately, the bag was placed on the floor in an area where traces of animal excrement had been found.” Borja added.
This is not the first occasion on which alarm bells have rung about the state of Bogotá’s street food: interviewing around 30 vendors.
In 2014, students and professors from Bogotá’s Nacional University carried out research into how street food was produced and stored.
“Reused oil can become toxic,” Jhon Jairo Bejarano from the University’s department of human nutrition and medicine faculty told El Tiempo.
Of Bogotá’s 44,712 registered street vendors, 806 sell food.
A nasty taste
Bad news too for users of the capital city’s mass transport system the Transmilenio.
The city’s transport police have begun operations to seize products from vendors entering the system, including around 300 baskets of food, reported to be in poor, rotting conditions with traces of rat feces.
Bogotá authorities also seized around 79 kilos of ham, chicken, beef and sausages destined to be used in hamburgers and pizzas during July.
Around 18 vendors were transporting the food stuffs, set to be used in Bogotá’s Tunjuelito locality.
“We have offered free courses to vendors, but some of them don’t meet with the appropriate conditions,” Sandra Milena Rodríguez, mayor of the locality commented.
Bearing this in mind, visitors to Colombia’s thriving capital city might want to think twice about what they are putting in their mouths.
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