Food safety officials raid fruit market
Staff of Institute of Preventive Medicine, Hyderabad, seizing the fruits being riped with carbide, at Kedareswarapeta Wholesale Fruit Market, in Vijayawada on Monday.- PHOTO: V. RAJU
Officials destroy Rs. 5 lakh worth papaya fruits after finding calcium carbide contents in them
Officials of Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM), Hyderabad, along with Food Controllers and Food Safety Officers conducted raids on Kedareswararaopet Wholesale Fruit Market to check the use of calcium carbide in ripening fruits.
The team headed by IPM Director P. Manjiri inspected banana, papaya and other fruit stock points in the market and verified the process being followed by the merchants to ripe different varieties of fruits.
“Following the directions of Commissioner of Food Safety of Andhra Pradesh, K.V. Satyanarayana, the raids were carried out and the teams collected 20 samples of different fruits. The samples have been sent to laboratory for examination,” said Krishna District Food Safety Officer T. Shekar Reddy.
Officials found calcium carbide contents in papaya fruits stored in a fruit stall, and stocks worth about Rs. 5 lakh were seized. The papayas were immediately destroyed, Assistant Food Controllers N. Purnachandra Rao and R. Nageswaraiah, who participated in the raids said.
Raids on sweet shops
Later, the teams conducted surprise raids on nine sweet shops at various places in the city. They collected samples to check harmful chemicals and the substandard quality sweets.
Dr. Manjiri said traders who are booked on charges are liable for imprisonment up to six months, besides Rs. 5 lakh penalty. If the sweet shop owners are preparing the dishes with substandard ingredients, the District Joint Collector can impose Rs. 3 lakh penalty, she said.
“The samples collected from the sweet stalls have been sent to laboratory and action would be taken once we get the report,” said Eluru Food Safety Officer A. Malakonda Reddy.