HYDERABAD: The usage of carcinogenic calcium carbide to give the perfect ripened look to the fruits, has come down in the past few months, claimed food safety officials. The reason: 72 cases booked against fruit vendors who used the chemical, wax and other substances to ripen fruits.
To further crackdown on the vendors who were resorting to such practices, food safety officials conducted raids for three days starting Thursday, and picked up 50 samples of strawberry, papaya, apple, orange, pomegranate, and other fruits based on suspicion. The raids were conducted in fruit markets and in retail shops in the city.
The samples were sent to Telangana State Food Laboratory to know if any chemicals, or pesticides were used. Test reports are expected to come in 14 days. The officials said they conducted similar checks in August last year.
“We did not find any calcium carbide in the raids conducted in the past three days. We picked up 50 samples based on suspicion from Gaddiannaram, Mozamjahi, and other fruit markets in the city. Retail shops selling fruits in Narayanaguda, Monda market and other places were also raided on Saturday,” said G Vinod Dayal, deputy food controller, Telangana food safety department, adding that the raids were conducted on orders from Commissioner of Food Safety, Rajeshwar Tiwari.
“We will receive reports after 14 days. If we find any chemicals, we will take action according to Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA),” said a food safety officer who was part of checking team.