Fish samples drawn from outside the state by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Thursday found the presence of formalin, a harmful preservative and cancer-causing chemical. The raid was conducted in Margao and Panaji. However, upon testing at the laboratory, it was found that this chemical was within the permissible limit.
“When we conduct the spot test, it just says whether the formalin is present or not, and then we conduct a detailed test in the laboratory where it gives us the results whether it is passing or not. In this particular case, there was formalin but within the permissible limit,” said director of FDA Jyoti Sardesai.
A team of FDA raided the wholesale fish market at Margao at 4 am on Thursday along with the department’s chemist wherein they drew fish samples from ten different species from 17 vehicles, which had arrived from states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Sample from one local fish vendor was also drawn. A spot test was conducted wherein the samples tested positive showing the presence of formaldehyde (formalin).
After this, the FDA froze the consignment until a detailed laboratory test at FDA, Bambolim, was performed and reports were made available.
Meanwhile, another team of FDA also drew three samples of fish from the Panaji market and brought them to the laboratory for testing.
After a detailed laboratory examination, the FDA in a press release said that ‘the results obtained for all the samples are found within permissible limits.
The fish samples are thus declared to be safe for consumption.’
“The whole process of sampling as well as the detailed analysis was undertaken on top priority basis, keeping in mind the perishable nature of fish,” the press release reads further.
Samples of fish drawn were ‘pedi,’ ‘bangdo,’ ‘tarli,’ ‘gobro,’ ‘savnale,’ ‘tisryo,’ ‘muddoshi,’ white pomfret, ‘verli’ and prawns.
The FDA has said that the special exercise by the department has shown that the fish sold here is safe and in future, they will remain vigilant towards any formalin contamination of the fish sold in the market.
The South Goa team was led by designated officer Iva Fernandes, senior food safety officer Abel Rodrigues, Shivdas Naik, Amit Mandrekar and Shruti Pilarnekar. The North Goa team was led by designated officer Richard Noronha, senior food safety officer Nelson Fernandes and food safety officer Sujata Shetgaonkar.