Viral: Bakso seller boils noodles in packaging, experts warn of cancer risk

Instant noodles cooked inside the packaging in Indonesia. Photo: Video screengrab
Instant noodles cooked inside the packaging in Indonesia. Photo: Video screengrab

We certainly won’t be singing “aku mau beli” to this abang tukang bakso.

Though we love Indonesian street food, it’s hard to deny that the majority of them lack in the hygiene department. Recently, a video went viral showing a bakso (meatball soup, often paired with noodles) seller going the extra mile in the yucky scale by boiling his instant noodles inside the packaging. It appears that, to him, such an endeavor is a practical way of portioning his noodles for the bakso.

It’s unclear where the video was taken, but it did feature popular Indonesian instant noodle brand Mi Sedaap.

Experts were understandably alarmed as soon as the video went viral.

“The packaging consists of plastic and ink. If it is dropped inside boiling water, then there would be a lot of chemicals going into that broth,” Andreas, a chemistry expert at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), told Detik yesterday.

“First, there are carcinogens. Second, the chemicals may attack one’s endocrine system, causing things like thyroid cancer.”

Caution is absolutely necessary before consuming street food — not just bakso — in Indonesia, as the vast majority of sellers are not certified for hygiene by the government.


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