Sambalpur: Traces of cancer-causing formalin have been found in two fish marine samples collected from different markets and outlets in Sambalpur district.
“A joint raid team of the Fisheries Department and Sambalpur Municipal Corporation detected formalin in two fishes collected from the outlet of a seller, Gautam Oram near Charabhati Square. The samples will be sent to the state food testing laboratory for a thorough examination,” Deputy Director (Fisheries) Pabitra Behera said on Thursday.
Though local vendors claim that these are freshwater fish, Behera clarified that they are of marine species.
The team conducted simultaneous raids on several fish markets and shops at Ainthapali, Budharaja and Govindatala in the district.
Similar raids are being conducted at different fish markets and outlets of the district in the last two days.
The department had earlier clarified that freshwater fish sold in the markets across Odisha are absolutely safe for consumption as no traces of cancer-causing formalin have been found in them.
Samples varieties of fish have been collected from different places in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Balasore and Rourkela since July 13 and sent to laboratory for tests.
Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Secretary Vishal Gagan on July 13 had confirmed the presence of formalin in Pomfret samples picked up from the Unit-4 fish market in Bhubaneswar.
In a letter to district public health officials and municipal corporations, Commissioner of Food Safety Archana Patnaik has asked them to collect samples of fish and send them to the National Food Testing Laboratory.
Citing reports in the print and electronic media, she directed the officials to ask the food safety officials concerned to collect random samples.