The holy month of Ramadan is once again upon us, reminding us to practise self-control and abstinence by fasting for one month. Iftaar is the meal for breaking the day long fast without partaking any food or water from sunrise to sunset. Iftaar is the highlight of Ramadan meals. Dates (khajur) imported from the Middle East, especially from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are the must have item on the iftaar menu. The reason behind this is because Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) used to open his fast with dates. Scientifically also it has been found that dates are so rich in nutrients that they are said to be super food for the brain. So no iftaar menu is complete without dates. Therefore dates are the first item partaken to open fast in a perfect iftaar meal.
As in previous years, this year also, the drive against contaminated, sub-standard and date-expired food is ongoing prior to Ramadan keeping in mind the fasting month. The discovery of unbelievable quantity of dates unfit for human consumption shocked us as it is a gross breach of Ramadan practices. We have lost words to condemn such criminal acts.Here is a list of few stupendous heists as reported in the daily sun. On May 7, a team of elite crime fighters Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) seized 22,000 kg of dates unfit for human consumption from different warehouses and another 600 tonnes from a cold storage. The team also seized 110 kgs from Old Dhaka during drives till April 26. Also on May 7, another mobile court seized 25 kg rotten dates at Hathazari in Chottogram. On May 2, a mobile court seized 100 maunds of dates from Ullapara in Sirajganj and several other places. This indicates that these rotten dates have reached all corners of Bangladesh.
Greedy traders must be punished, who do not consider the welfare of millions of fasting people who may consume the rotten dates leading to health hazards.
Imported food must be tracked to regulate their quality, supply quantity in the market and its price to safeguard the nation against any harm and deception. The drive against sub-standard food should continue round the year, and not just before and during Ramadan.