Thursday, March 27, 2008


Plastic use in making pisang goreng crispier: No reports in Sabah


How about some plastic shreds to make pisang goreng (banana fritters) and keledek crispier and tastier? There is no evidence to suggest Sabah’ own pisang goreng hawkers, popularly sought after for the snacks they are producing, are doing that dangerous and unbecoming thing here. But in Peninsular Malaysia, that is exactly what some pisang goreng hawkers are doing, having borrowed the idea from Thailand where the popular snack is common too. Consumers Association of Sabah and Labuan (CASH) President Datuk Patrick Sindu said he has personally - received similar complaints about the matter from consumers here. “This is an unhealthy practice and is hazardous to the health of consumers,” he said, adding that the Government must take action against unscrupulous hawkers for causing such health hazard to consumers. In fact, stern action must be taken against these hawkers, he said when asked to comment on a report by New Straits Times on Feb 29 that consumers’ demand for crispy snacks like pisang goreng and keledek has caused some hawkers in Peninsular Malaysia to use plastic in making banana fritters crispier. Meanwhile, the Sabah Health Department and Kota Kinabalu City Hall, when asked to comment on the report, said they haye yet to receive any complaints from the public about hawkers in the State resorting to the unhealthy practice. They however urged the public to report to them if they come across hawkers doing that as banana fritters produced that way are detrimental to the health of consumers. A number of pisang goreng stall operators in Kota Kinabalu who were approached in a random survey said they were not aware of such practice by hawkers in Peninsular Malaysia and also they did not know of any hawker doing it here. Nor Selina of Kepayan, who has been selling pisang goreng for more than five years, said it is irresponsible of the hawkers involved and their action could affect the business of innocent hawkers. “I love my business and would not do anything to harm it. The pisang goreng I make is not only for sale but also consumed by my family and myself, so why should I endanger their health,” she said. Nor Selina said she had never thought of adding plastic or any inedible stuff in making her pisang goreng crispier. “A good goreng pisang businesswoman knows what to do to make it crispy and delicious. For me, I have a secret recipe to make it delicious and crispier than normal,” she said. Nor Selina prepares her pisang goreng in full view of her customers so that they know that the popular tea-time snack for Malaysians is prepared inawholesome and hygienic manner. “I have heard my customers complaining about not being able to see the food being prepared in some other stalls. So I appeal to those in the same line of business not to follow what is being done in Peninsular Malaysia as it would not only harm their business but also other people’s business,” she said. Another pisang goreng maker, Mina, said she would never do anything harmful to the health of her customers. She said using plastic shreds to boost one’s business is just unthinkable. A consumer who declined to be named said she has yet to come across such a practice by pisang goreng hawkers in the State Capital. “I hope this will not happen in Sabah,” she said.