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can drinkAs Jade Dehinde commuted from Apapa to Lagos Island in a minibus known as ‘Danfo,’ the heat from the scorching sun was hard on his skin.
He perspired and sweat dripped freely from his forehead. He regularly wiped the sweat with his handkerchief. Getting to Ijora Bustop, the driver pulled up, for a passenger to alight.
Dehinde heard a roadside trader selling bottled water, different brands of soda and other sweetened drinks, calling out to consumers, “buy your cold Pepsi, Coke, Viju, Lacasera, bottled water!
At that point Dehinde realised that the heat had become unbearable and he needed a cold drink to quench the impact of the scorching sun. He promptly beckoned on the trader: “give me a canned malt drink.”
Dehinde stretched forth his hand through the window of the vehicle, collected the drink, paid, promptly opened the canned drink, placed the can package very close to his mouth and gulped its content. From Dehinde’s action, it was clear that he did not bother to clean the can before drinking from it.
Merely looking at the canned package it was also clear that the top of the can was dirty, raising the issue that often, canned drink packages are not cleaned before they are sold to final consumers.
According to medical experts, drinking directly from a canned drink package that is not clean, could have adverse health implications.
In most cases, these canned drinks are stored in warehouses for a long time, thereby exposing them to dirt including dust, urine and droppings from rodents. While the drinks are stacked in warehouses and retail shops; they accumulate a lot of dirt which could pose danger to health.
Irrespective of how neat a canned drink may appear, a good number of bacteria could be present atop the cans especially if they are not properly cleaned before a consumer drinks directly from it.
Several diseases are linked to germs contracted from canned drink packages that are not properly cleaned. Speaking on this, Dr. Iheukwumere Nwaiwu of the Federal Medical Center, Bayelsa identified Leptospirosis and Hanta Virus as diseases associated with dirty canned drinks that are not properly cleaned.
According to him, the diseases could result from the urine and droppings from infected rats and other rodents on these cans, although there has been no reported case.
Among bacteria that could be present atop a dirty canned drink packag are campylobacter, shigella viruses such as the Adenovirus and Rotavirus. All these bacteria could result to diarrhoeal diseases, said Nwaiwu. Campylobacter is the second most common cause of foodborne illness.
The symptoms of Campylobacter infection, or Campylobacteriosis, include fever, nausea, among others. Shigellosis is a diarrheal disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. Similarly, he said carcinogen, a substance or agent that could cause cancer, may be present on top of dirty canned drinks.
This could also predispose to various cancers. He added, “You can also contract gastritis, that is irritation of the stomach wall and linings” from dirty canned drinks.
Speaking in similar vein, Dr. Cedric Spark, Infectious Disease Specialist at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas in the United States (U.S) said, “canned drinks that are not properly cleaned could cause infections with a variety of serious medical conditions in patients.”
He identified running water as the best method to clean a canned drink before consuming directly from the can. Similarly, a Public Health Official and Senior Lecturer at Department of Health Education, University of Port Harcourt, Dr. Golda Ekenedo advised that proper measures need to be taken to check the health implications of drinking from the top of a dirty canned drink.
“Apart from ensuring a proper hygienic storage system of the canned drinks,” she said, homes and warehouses should be rid of pests, and top of canned drinks should be washed before direct consumption from them.
After cleaning the cans, he noted that the use of glass cup or straw could mitigate the impact of the dirt from the cans and this is largely dependent on the final consumer.” Properly clean the top of your canned drink before you drink from the cans, she advised. (New Telegraph).

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