Heavy metals, fried foods, busy roads, non-busy roads, street food vending.
Abstract: The assessment of heavy metals (lead and mercury) and by-product (sulphur) on fried food sold by roadside food vendors in Calabar, Nigeria were investigated. The food samples which were covered and uncovered after frying were obtained randomly from 20 street food vendors. The food samples were obtained from 10 busy roads and 10 non- busy roads in Calabar, Nigeria. The busy roads were those roads that recorded more than 20 cars per minute, while the non-busy roads recorded less than 10 cars per minute. The result showed that the busy roads had significant (P<0.05) higher depositions of heavy metals and by-products than the non-busy roads. Lead deposits on the food samples was significantly (P<0.05) higher than the amount of mercury and significantly (P<0.05) higher than the amount of sulphur deposit. The amount of sulphur deposit on the food samples was significantly higher (P<0.05) than mecury. The food samples that was uncovered after frying had a significantly higher (P<0.05) deposit of heavy metal and by-product than the food samples that were covered after frying. This result suggest that fried foods vended in calabar by the road-side have a serious public health concern.