Assistant electrician and helper from Brackrish Water Development Agency (BFDA) are among the unqualified persons who have been drafted to check fish trucks at the Pollem check-post in South Goa and Patradevi in North Goa for formalin.
They are directed to perform the tests along with the team of food safety officers of the directorate of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
Sources in the health department said that BFDA has deputed six persons including the assistant electrician, helper and four technicians.
Director of fisheries Vinesh Arlenkar confirmed it to ‘The Navhind Times’ that following a request from FDA he has deputed the staff to work under FDA.
The sources said that these staff members from BFDA do not have the required qualification or required legal standing as per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India Act to check and monitor the quality of fish which is being imported to Goa from neighbouring states. Even more surprising is the fact that these unqualified persons have been directed to perform tests not only for formalin but also for ammonia in fish using the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology’s (CIFT) rapid detection kit.
Sources informed that as per the tentative timetable prepared by FDA director Jyoti Sardesai, the BFDA staff are working from September 4 and will continue to work till September 11 until further orders in the day as well as the night shift.
The officials of the BFDA who have been directed to work under FDA are assistant electrician Suryakant
Kalangutkar, helper Uday Chodankar and the four technicians include Sarita Rodrigues, Nakul Mhammal, Trimbak Phadte and Mariano John Fernandes.
With unqualified persons checking the fish at the two check-posts, concerns are raised again over the quality of fish imported and supplied in the local market.