From the government advertisements and common media it is common belief that street foods are much less safe than restaurant foods. Yet when reading about street foods in Wikipedia I came across this claim that incidence of street food contamination is lower(or at least same) as restaurants.

Also from common sense it seems that the statistics should vary depending upon country, food etc.

Is there any more studies supporting (or not) this claim?

In face, research demonstrates that, despite theoretical risk, the incidence of street food is low - not higher than in restaurant foods

Foods of Association: Biocultural Perspectives on Foods and Beverages

[Update] I am from India but it is hard to find any paper published for this in India. So the answer concerning any country where street food is common, is acceptable.

For raw or cooked food I am wondering for both. My guess would be that cooked food would be much safer in streets than raw food. but just a guess.

  • 4
    Which country? Hot/cold/raw/cooked food? This is a very broad question and isn't easily answerable in its current state.
    – John Lyon
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 23:59
  • The claim is africa too as opposed to US or India... I suspect it is quite possible for all 3 to have very different results.
    – Chad
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 14:18
  • Street food lets you make your own choices based on the hygiene you see. Restaurants are a "black box", which make it hard to evaluate as a customer.
    – Nick
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 9:56
  • @Nick depends on the restaurant and the street vendor. A lot of restaurants have partially open kitchens, a lot of street vendors have a closed box they pull stuff out of.
    – jwenting
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 11:05
  • The quote goes on to provide three references: (Tinker 1997; Umoh and Odoba 1999; Simopolous and Bhat 2000). Did you follow those up? Seems to me the question may already be answered.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 14:13


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