Steamy Payasams in plastic containers are cancerous
THIS STORY IS FOR TOMORROW TO BE TAKEN AS PART OF PACKAGE Express News Service Kozhikode: Think twice before sipping that steaming cup of payasam served by hotels and various catering centres in the city as they come in plastic cups and containers which is really bad for health. To attract the onam crowd, a government-owned store in muthalakkulam has set up stalls to serve ‘Mulayari payasam’ at a rate of Rs.30 per cup and Rs 300 per litre. According to its regional manager V K Rajesh, nearly 500 to 600 customers visit the stall daily . “
For takeaways or while selling the payasam in bulk we usually pack it in plastic containers. But if the buyers wants to have it then and there, then we serve it in disposable cups”, he said. Though several hotels in the city claim that they parcel payasam in ‘food-grade ’ containers, health experts are of the opinion that the plastic will emit chemicals when hot payasam is piured into it. “Payasams are packed in food-graded containers for home delivery. Otherwise we serve in disposable cups. Also, we ensure that the payasam is poured into the container only after it cools down," said manager of a leading hotel in the city. However, these food-grade plastic containers, made of high density polyethylene substances are more or less similar to the normal plastic canister and usually comes with a plastic lid.
According to Ashalatha Jayakumar, doctor at Kozhikode Medical College, having hot payasam in plastic cups can have cancerous effects. “ Plastics, as we all know, are extremely dangerous.Even the disposable cups that we get these days are coated with a line of plastic.This when mixed with hot liquid would melt and get added to drink.If you want to have paayasam, have it in a steel cup or banana leaf ”, she adds. Though catering centres in the city claim that they use steel containers, many sprung up during festive season without license and serve food items on plastic containers. “ There are many illegally run catering services in the city.They usually deliver payasam in plastic cups and bottles. However we fill it in steel canisters only “, said Prabi Das, manager of Krishna Catering Services. ENDS