Many eateries and restaurants in the country continue to serve breads with burnt spots despite warnings from government authorities about its serious health risks, a number of residents told Gulf Times. One female expatriate who frequents eateries in Al Hilal, Najma area and Airport Road said she has not seen any bread cooked without burnt spots. “I always tell waiters or waitresses not to cook the chapatti too much but they still fail to do it and I don’t know why,” she noted. “So what happens is I am forced to remove all the burnt part and eat whatever is left.” A member of the Central Municipal Council earlier disclosed that it received numerous complaints from customers expressing their worries “about the harm that could be caused by consuming burnt bread.” The Central Laboratory Department at the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) earlier stressed that foods exposed to high temperatures produce acrylamide, a compound believed to cause cancer when consumed. According to the same report, SCH has urged residents not to eat such burnt spots of breads or other foods. Some customers admit that they consume some varieties of Arabic bread despite having burnt spots saying they want to make the most out of it. In many restaurants and hotels, the cost of chapatti or roti is usually higher compared with the rates in small eateries. But for health conscious individuals, the practice should not be tolerated since it poses harmful effects to human health. Chefs should find a way to significantly minimise the burnt spots if it cannot be totally avoided, according to a resident in Al Hilal. “I hope they will cook and serve the breads to customers without the ‘black spots’. I believe not all people here are aware of its health risk,” he stressed. Speaking to Gulf Times, a supervisor of a restaurant in Najma admitted that their chefs find it hard to cook the bread without any burnt spot. She said breads cooked lightly may cause stomach troubles to customers and “we do not want to get any complaints out of that.” “That would really put us in a bad light.” The supervisor pointed out that they prefer to serve the bread well-cooked with burnt spots than take the risk of facing stiff penalties. Many citizens in Qatar have also posted and shared numerous articles on social media such as Facebook and Twitter to spread awareness on the dangers of eating burnt foods. “Removing the burnt part of the bread seems to be a better idea but you will certainly lose your appetite especially when the food is no longer hot or warm,” a resident said. “Besides, it takes time and a big portion of the bread maybe thrown away.” GULF TIMES Thoughts?