Formalin laced fish: Raids on fish markets, godowns in Sambalpur & Bolangir

Sambalpur/Bolangir: After Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, raids were conducted on several fish markets and godowns of Sambalpur and Bolangir town today over presence of cancer-causing Formalin in fishes.

Officials of the Sambalpur Municipal Corporation (SMC) collected the samples from various fish markets in the town and sent it for examination. However, the fish mongers asserted that they had stopped importing from Andhra Pradesh after traces of Formalin were found in their supply.

“Acting on a letter issued by the Commissioner of Food Safety following complaints on presence of harmful chemicals in fishes, a joint team of Fisheries department and Enforcement squad of SMC conducted raids in different markets of the city today. We have collected the samples and will be sending them or tests,’ informed Sambalpur Food Safety Inspector, Prataprudra Mandal.

The officials conducted searches and collected samples from two wholesalers in Tangli Bazaar. The team also visited Motijharan but as the market was locked, we could be only collect samples from retailers, the official added.

Similarly, officials of the Supplies department in Bolangir raided the fish shops at Rugudipada and collected samples to test the presence of Formalin in it.

“Formalin is a chemical applied on fishes to preserve it for longer period and their consumption is injurious to health. We have collected the samples and will be sending them for examination. Based on the reports, further action will be taken,” said Bolangir District Food Security Inspector, Arun Kumar Chatterjee.

“We usually sell local fishes. We have no problem if raids are being carried out,” said a fish seller.

On Monday, the Commissioner of Food Safety, in a letter, directed all the District Public Health Officers-cum-Designated Officers and Municipal Corporations of the State to collect samples of fish and send it to the National Food Testing Laboratory.

Earlier, traces of cancer-causing Formalin were detected from Pomfret fish samples in Bhubaneswar following which the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) on Monday, conducted raids on several fish markets and godowns.