Street food not to be banned in Bangkok, says official

A man prepares food at a street stall in the Phrakanong district of Bangkok. AFP Photo

BANGKOK: Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said Friday that street food, an important part of daily life in Bangkok, will not be banned in the city as media reports said, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

“I can assure you that there is no ban on street food vendors, street food is part of us and part of life,” Kobkarn said at a press conference.

Earlier media reports said Thai authorities had already removed street vendors on 431 locations around Bangkok to facilitate traffic flows and improve the city’s cleanliness while those street food vendors in Bangkok’s famous Yaowarat Road, or Chinatown and Khao San road will be improved.

Thai media said that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) was going to ban street food vendors in all 50 districts of Bangkok this year to assure the capital city’s cleanliness and safety.

“The BMA just removed some street vendors in some certain areas, which is their consistent policy,” said Kobkarn, adding that it is necessary for some street food vendors to improve themselves to meet hygiene standards.

Some of them pour used water onto the street, some don’t wear gloves, so the city is asking them to adjust, she said.

During the press conference about the Michelin Guide Bangkok on Friday, both Michelin and the Tourism Authority of Thailand said street food is Bangkok’s attractiveness.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand also confirmed to reporters that Bangkok remains a top destination for street food.

“We have contacted the BMA and found that while there are measures in place to control food vendors and enforce current regulations, there is no outright ban on the sale of street food.”

BMA, quoted by the Tourism Authority, said it will be providing support and advice to the city’s street food vendors to help them raise hygienic standards, improve food safety and adhere to proper waste management procedures.

Bangkok’s street food, cheap compared with restaurants, is famous among international tourists as some think it represents best affordable food of the city. – Bernama

 

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