Now serving: Street food makes a sanitised return in Gurgaon

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Rains and street food go hand in hand. The arrival of monsoon is like a signal for our brain to start craving everything from to momos. While Gurugrammers love their street food, this year, the situation has been different. The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown enforced because of it caused Gurgaon’s street food vendors to shut shop temporarily. But over the last two phases of unlock, the vendors returned gradually across the various markets of the Millennium City, with safety and sanitisation measures in place.

In markets like Sadar Bazar, Sector 14, and Sector 56, the street food vendors have been back for a couple of weeks, with almost all of them wearing masks and even gloves while handling food. “We wear gloves and masks for our own safety. We have to deal with dozens of people each day. Precaution is necessary,” says Anil, a vendor at Sadar Bazar.

Since most of these vendors operate from markets where there isn’t any centralised thermal screening or sanitisation, they have taken it upon themselves to ensure all guidelines are followed. A vendor from Sector 14 says, “We try and ensure all our food is handled wearing gloves only and we wear masks all the time even though it is inconvenient. It is important not just for our safety but also to convince the customer that it is safe to eat at our place.”

Over time, Gurugrammers have also warmed up to the idea of going out and eating at these joints and not just take away packed food. Akhil Singh, a Sector 56 resident, tells us, “Initially, I was apprehensive about going out but last week, I took my wife to buy some rolls from the market nearby and I was pleasantly surprised to find everything so sanitised. The vendor even wore gloves and a mask and had a sanitiser. It put my mind at ease.”

Many prefer to eat in the comfort of their cars even when they go out, in order to avoid crowds at the kiosks or shops. Ranika Sharma, a Sector 7 resident, adds, “I have gone out to have some momos or occasionally over the last couple of weeks. Usually, we just buy it from the shop or kiosk and then eat in the car. The places seem clean and you have to know which market and which shop will ensure proper hygiene.”

Be mindful while eating out:

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