The Food Safety Department officials on Tuesday conducted raids on the fruit stalls to check the presence of calcium carbide (CaC2) content in the stocks in Khammam. A team of food inspectors led by Zone-V Warangal Assistant Food Control Officer N Prabhakar Reddy inspected several wholesale and retail shops in the city.
The officials, who raided wholesale fruit market behind Vinoda Mahal theatre and other cold storage units, collected samples. Prabhakar Reddy said that the collected samples would be sent for laboratory examination. Stating that nine out of the 16 fruit samples collected hitherto from the city’s shops were found ripened artificially using calcium carbide and other chemicals, he warned that authorities were preparing to file criminal cases against those vendors.
He said that calcium carbide can cause cancer as it contains traces of Arsenic and Phosphorous Hydrides. It might be noted here that calcium carbide crystals absorb moisture and produce acetylene gas that aids in the artificial ripening of the fruit. P Chandrasekhar, A Rajendranath, V Srinivas, R Krishna Kumar and TV Ramana Kumar and other officials took part in the raids.