Why did Goa ban gobi manchurian from street stalls again?

Mapusa banned gobi manchurian in street stalls due to health concerns. Photo: iStock/ajaykampani

The fusion dish gobi manchurian is a much-loved Indo-Chinese dish that features prominently on restaurant menus across India. However, Goa's Mapusa recently banned it from its street stalls and feasts. The decision even led to social media arguments between those who love the dish, the health-conscious lot and the others. Why can't the authorities stand the dish? The reason stems purely from health concerns.

As per reports, the Mapusa Municipal Council authorities said that the dish was banned due to the use of synthetic colours during its preparation and the poor hygiene conditions in which it is cooked in street stalls. The vendors used substandard sauces and salts, which are harmful for consumption, during their preparation. A flour-cornstarch mix with a harmful powder that's used for washing clothes is also allegedly used to keep the florets crunchy for a long time. This is not the first time the dish angered food safety authorities in Goa. In 2022 also, the state had restricted the dish's sale for similar reasons. 

Harmful effects of food colours
Artificial food colours are often prepared with various chemicals, coal tar and other petroleum products. In India, they are also made from plant materials like saffron, turmeric, carrot juice and beetroot. The colours are added to foods like sauces, jams and pickles and can at times contain harmful quantities of lead and arsenic. Their overconsumption can be detrimental to health and can cause diseases like allergies, skin issues and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). The FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has rated certain food colours as safe for consumption and only they are supposed to be used in our foods. 

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