AGARTALA, Feb 28 - Out of 40 fish samples collected in Tripura, formalin was found in 11 samples, the Assembly was informed today.
Replying to a calling attention, Health Minister Badal Chowdhury said as many as 40 suspected samples of fish were collected from various parts of the State by designated officers from February 8 to 25 from various parts of the State. �Out of the 40 samples, formalin was found in 11 samples tested by experts at the Regional Food Tasting Laboratory,� he said.
Formalin, a chemical which has adverse impact on human body, is widely used to keep fishes fresh for long hours.
Admitting that there was weakness on the part of the department, the Minister said the government has already initiated moves after media reports of formalin being used to keep fish fresh for long hours. At present, the State has only four Food Safety Officers.
Tripura, a deficit State in fish production, imports huge quantity of fishes from Andhra Pradesh and Bangladesh every day. It was reported that formalin is used in the fishes coming from Andhra Pradesh and Bangladesh raising alarm bells for the government.
�Additional DMs, SDMOs and Food Safety Officers were asked to collect fish samples randomly and check them if there is formalin or not. The government will not allow unhygienic fishes to be sold in the markets,� he said.
He further said the government has initiated a process to appoint Food Safety Officer in each subdivision to ensure proper vigilance on the food adulteration.
Explaining the legal provisions under the Food Safety Security Act & Rules 2011, Chowdhury said if anyone is found guilty under the Act, the defaulter may face a penalty of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh with imprisonment or both. �Sessions Judges are designated to hear such cases,� he added.