Updated: June 30, 2022 10:00:17 am
Food safety department officials on Wednesday raided shops in Koyambedu Wholesale Market complex in Chennai and seized several tonnes of fruits that were artificially ripened using chemicals.
A team of officials led by Dr Satheesh Kumar, designated food safety officer in Chennai, inspected the shops and seized seven tonnes of mangoes and 500 kilograms of bananas that were mixed with chemicals.
— Janardhan Koushik (@koushiktweets) June 29, 2022
In the video released by the officials, the store owner asks Dr Kumar to forgive them for one last time. The official is seen telling them that during a previous raid, they had already seized close to 10 tonnes of fruits and destroyed them and they (shop workers) still have not learnt their lesson. The official says that he cannot allow them to sell these chemically ripened fruit.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Dr Kumar noted that the shop workers used Ethephon to ripen fruits. “The shopkeepers had this chemical in sachets and put them in direct contact with the fruits. The sachets would hasten the ripening process artificially which is clearly not the right method of ripening fruits. If people, especially children, consume these fruits without washing, the chemical will directly get into the body. It will start with a stomach pain and will lead to diarrhoea, vomiting etc. In some cases, it may cause serious health complications, the nervous system might get affected and people might get seizures,” he noted.
The officials said that they raided close to 30 shops on Wednesday in the Koyambedu fruit market and found six of them violating the guidelines.
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“The shop owners have been informed that their shops will be permanently sealed if they are found to be indulging in the act again. They have been fined Rs 5,000 now and close to Rs 5.5 lakh worth adulterated fruits have been seized,” Kumar added.
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