The Food Safety wing, as part of its drive Operation Matsya to ensure that only safe fish reaches consumers, have seized and destroyed 1,706.88 kg fish which were either stale or kept preserved using chemicals from outlets across the State,.
Officials conducted 1,070 inspections on Saturday focussing on major check-posts, harbours, and fish distribution/ trading centres. A total of 809 samples have been collected and sent for laboratory analysis, a statement issued by the office of the Health Minister said.
Under Operation Matsya, 3,631.88 kg of fish which was stale or unfit for consumption had been seized and destroyed till date
The statement said officials used rapid detection kits to test the freshness of fish. At 579 such tests done across the State, nine samples of fish from Aluva, Thodupuzha, Nedumkandam, and Malappuram were found to be laced with chemicals.
Those consignments were seized and destroyed and legal action would be taken against those responsible for the crime, Health Minister Veena George said. She said notices had been served on 53 persons in this regard.
Inspections would be strengthened at check-posts as part of Operation Matsya. Special squads, including food safety officials and led by Assistant Food Safety Commissioners, were continuing raids across the State.
Fish auction centres, harbours, wholesale trading centres and fish retail outlets were all being inspected by special squads. The rapid test kits developed by the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology were being used by the squads to check fish for the presence of ammonia or formalin. Samples were also collected and sent for lab diagnosis.
The Minister said the department would continue to pursue the safe food for all campaign and ensure that stringent measures were taken against those selling fish laden with chemicals.