Tourism

Bangkok denies street food ban

Yesterday, there were rumours Bangkok – one of the world’s busiest street food hubs – was banning the very thing its known for.

Media were reporting that food stalls would be banned from all of Bangkok’s main roads under a major clean-up operation.

But today, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has issued a statement assuring all travellers and industry folk that this is not the case.

TAT said it’s contacted the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) about the misleading reports, 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”.

The statement continued, “In fact, the BMA appreciates that food vendors are a vital part of the city’s identity and helped Bangkok be listed by CNN as one of the 23 best cities in the world for street food.”

According to TAT, the BMA has said that it will be “providing support and advice” to the city’s street food vendors to help them raise hygiene standards, improve food safety and adhere to proper waste management procedures.

BMA will also be enforcing measures regarding sidewalk and road obstructions and is working with the Metropolitan Police Bureau and its Traffic Division to see that” vital walkways are clear of the food carts, chairs and umbrellas used by many street food vendors in the city”.

What this means is that in Bangkok’s busiest areas, vendors will be required to move to designated zones and nearby markets in order to operate.

“Popular tourist streets such as Chinatown’s Yaowaraj and Khao San Road, will not be affected,” the statement added.

“But these areas will receive special attention to ensure international hygienic standards are met by the vendors.”

The statement concluded by sharing the implementations the BMA plans to bring to street food vendors, pending government approval.

These include:

  • To introduce universal hygienic standards practices for food preparation and service and strictly enforce these measures.
  • To ensure personal attend BMA training programs on food safety and pass tests before they are licenced.
  • BMA will enforce measures regarding waste management and the cleaning of bowls and utensils used by customers.

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