Eating food prepared, packaged in polythene bags causes diseases

Retired Hoima District Health Educator, Mr Solomon Kwebiiha.(Image: Joseph Uzelle/Kazi-njema News)

Although polythene papers and bags play a positive role in being handy for packaging foods, health experts warn of health complications associated with eating food prepared, covered and packaged in polythene papers, bags and sacks.

It follows the majority of urban people both in restaurants houses and at home cooking human consumable food like bananas, posho, sweet potatoes and cassava wrapped in and covered with polythene sacks, bags and papers instead of using banana leaves.

Wrapping, covering and packaging hot food in polythene sacks and paper is strongly discouraged by health experts with Mr Solomon Kwebiiha, a retired Health Educator in Hoima district, warning of multiple body complications one develops once they eat such food.

In a one-to-one interview with Kazi-njema News, Mr Kwebiiha reveals that human health related threats including cancers, kidney failure, hypertension, toxicity to reproductive organs, renal impairment and immuno-toxicity result from one eating hot or heated food covered, wrapped and packaged in polythene bags and paper due to the toxic chemicals in them.  

The retired health educator who is also the Chairman Hoima Red Cross Governing Board, says hot foods packaged in polythene bags are contaminated by chemicals mostly when they are hot or heated.

He says such chemicals as styrene and bisphenol are harmful to human life since they cause diseases like cancer, heart diseases and can harm the reproductive system.

According to him, some types of cancers are common nowadays due to among others misuse of plastics among other items used for keeping and storing food.

Mr Kwebiiha says exposure to some chemicals like lead added to pigments used in colourants that make single use shopping bags colourful can affect multiple body systems.

Audio: Kwebiiha on polythene dangers (English)

The Health educator advises people to instead cover and package food in banana leaves as the healthiest way like it was being done in the far past or package it in metallic dishes to avoid consuming chemicals in polythene papers and bags.

Audio: Kwebiiha on hot food (English)

Mr Kwebiiha appeals to the government to enact stringent laws regarding proper use of plastic bags and culprits who are found breaching them should be apprehended, prosecuted and jailed to serve as an example and deter others from acting likewise for a healthy life.

Audio: Kwebiiha on punishment (English)

He also wants the government to fully fund health educators and other relevant workers to mobilise and massively create awareness among people about the dangers of using plastic bags and papers in cooking, covering and packing consumable human foods and beverages.

The health educator says some people use polythene papers and bags in food handling out of ignorance and therefore need to be sensitised for a better life.

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