Sher Aqa is a street food
seller in Kabul, who has kept his business since 11 years ago. He says he gives
his customers a decent meal in exchange for 50 afghanis and many customers rush
Street food varies from
place to place. People enjoy it universally for it is cheap, convenient, and
easily accessed. But when it comes to the Afghan capital, Kabul, the business
of street food has all those characteristics except convenience and safety.
Alongside crowded expensive
restaurants of Kabul, street foods are also thriving. The business is widely
running in most populated streets across the city with a broad popularity among
residents of Kabul, mostly for drivers of public buses, street vendors,
students of universities and schools, and workers.
Food vendors are expanding
their menus in different areas. From Bolani to Burger, fried liver, and Qaboli Palaw,
are all available in relatively cheaper price on the streets.
While a large number of
customers are routinely consuming street foods, some people think it is not
healthy and clean. There are also some people who have unexpected experience of
eating streets foods.
Abdullah, a resident of
Kabul, shares his unpleasant experience of consuming street food. He says that
once he became ill after buying and eating cooked beans on the roadside.
However, many food vendors
claim that their food ingredients are as clean as the ingredients used by
restaurants. Abdullah Sultani, who fries liver at Kot-e Sangi, says that he has
already received a license by the Ministry of Public Health and pays the government
up to 80 afghanis tax on monthly basis. “Everything, we use, taken from oil to
vegetables and liver are all registered at the Ministry,” Mr. Sultani said.
A large number of food
vendors say that most people like their food because of its good quality and
reasonable price. Doctors, however, advise people not to risk their health for
cheap and unhealthy food.
Dr. Najibullah Amarkhail,
who works at a private hospital, says that if people pay 50 afghanis for food
then they will have to spend at least 1,000 afghanis for their health. He says
most of his patients are those who take street food. According to him, “people
shouldn’t use roadside foods. These foods cause different diseases including
nausea, diarrhea, taeniasis, and other infectious diseases.”
The Ministry of Public
Health says that a new rule for ‘food safety’ is under the process and soon
will be implemented. According to a number of officials at the Ministry, this
rule has eight chapters and 34 articles applicable on every food business.
According to statistics,
over 80 people have come to the Ministry this year for medical examination. Ahmad
Rasheed Ahmadyar, who is working at the Ministry of Public Health, says none of
the policies and rules set by the Ministry of Public Health are implemented on