Assam: Testing kits to verify fish quality yet to reach state


GUWAHATI, July 21, 2018: Government of Assam had imposed 10-day restriction on import of fish since July 11 which will end on Saturday, but the spot-testing kit to verify the quality of fish is yet to reach the state.

Earlier, officials of state public health laboratory said on-spot testing of imported fish will be done in every part of the state with mobile kits from Saturday.

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The kits have been supplied free of cost by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), a body under the ministry of health and family welfare, which was created to lay down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

In the first phase, 50 kits will be available in the state. With one kit, a 100 fish samples can be tested. The second instalment will be available soon, the officials added.

On Friday, sources of food safety department said since the kits have not arrived, it will take two or three more days for distribution across the state."We will start sample collection from every part of the state from Saturday. It will be thoroughly investigated in our laboratory and the report will given to the state government immediately," said Anupam Gogoi, the chief analyst of the Assam state public health laboratory, told the media.

Dispur had imposed restrictions on imported fish from Andhra Pradesh for 10 days after the state public health laboratory detected formalin in fish collected from Betkuchi market here. The presence of formalin in fish causes cancer.

On July 14, the Andhra Pradesh government had sent a team of its officials to Assam after Dispur imposed the restriction. The team, in the presence of Assam fisheries department officials, carried out on-the-spot tests on imported fish in lower Assam's Rangiya and found presence of formalin only in one fish sample among the nine they had tested.

Sources said formalin is used along the Assam-Bengal border to preserve unsold fish.

However, officials of the food safety department said from now on, there will be proper marking on packets of imported fish and packets found without or broken government seals will not to be allowed to be sold in the market.

Source: The Telegraph

Featured image: The Telegraph