One of the biggest Thailand-related news stories on social media this week was a front page headline in The Nation newspaper and an oft-shared post from its website.
The headline stated: “BMA bans all street food across Bangkok this year”.
MekongTourism.org also shared the story in its post “Bangkok to Ban all Street Food?” The question mark in our headline proved to be useful.
Thailand’s Minister of Tourism & Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul has since posted on her Facebook page denying that street food vendors would be banned.
She wrote: “The following measures are being considered for the implementation upon approvals of the Governor and also the Government:
“1. The universal hygienic standards must strictly be observed by vendors on their processes of food preparation and services.
“2. Food stalls should present local identity and be of uniformity.
“3. Present food vendors will be allowed to continue their business as usual with regards to all those conditions aiming for sustainability.
“4. All personnel dealing with the street food preparation and services will be required to attend the training programs to be organized by the City. Moreover, they must pass the test before being allowed to their food stalls.
“5. Particular attentions will be paid to their procedures of dish cleaning and waste management, i.e., the dish cleaning on pavement would be definitely prohibited.
“All of these measures would be applied to food street vendors on other areas as well.
“In short, street food vendors would not banned as circulated among some medias.
“On the contrary, they would be supported and facilitated adhering to the features of tourist attractions as well as universal hygienic standards.”