Formalin laced fish destroyed in Kohima

Formalin laced fish destroyed in Kohima
Hordes of formalin laced fish being destroyed at Kohima Municipal Council dumping site on June 25. Food Safety personnel confiscated four truckloads of imported fish in Kohima on June 25 and destroyed 5280 kg of fish which tested positive for formalin.


More action to follow for flouting order


Morung Express News
Kohima | June 25


Subsequent to the Nagaland Health department warning of formalin-treated fish being sold in the market, state Food Safety personnel confiscated four truckloads of imported fish in Kohima on June 25. According to the Food Safety Officer (FSO), Kohima, the fish weighing in total 5280kg – Rohu 1720 kg, Pankaj 3360 kg and Catla 200 kg – tested positive for formalin and were destroyed.


The punitive action comes three days after the Food Safety Commissioner, Nagaland issued caution against sale and storage of chemically treated fish and crustaceans across the state on June 22. The warning from the Commissioner came after detection of formalin, also known as formaldehyde (a chemical applied in preservation of carcasses), in fish sold in the markets of Nagaland.


FSO, Kohima, Samuel Zehol informed that no penalty was imposed as the exercise was carried out for the first time after the notification issued by the government. “Today was the first phase entry point. In the next phase, we will focus on the grassroots level such as the retail outlets,” said the FSO, while informing that the Food Safety personnel will be monitoring all the districts in the next few days.


The exercise was carried out at the KMC Check point under the initiative of the Chief Medical Officer, Kohima, Commissioner & Secretary Health & Family Welfare, I. Himato Zhimomi, the Food Safety team in co-ordination with Kohima Municipal Council, District Administration, police and Kohima Village Youth Organisation.


Formalin, which is used to preserve dead bodies, is a lethal chemical that causes serious health problems even if consumed in small quantity. Food Safety officials informed that the consumption of products containing formalin leads to complications of the kidneys and even cancer. According to the World Health Medicine, Formalin is a chemical substance consisting of a mixture of formaldehyde, methanol and water which is widely used to preserve dead bodies. However in recent years, the chemical is being misused as a food preservative.


Food Safety Commissioner, I. Himato Zhimomi said that more such action will follow in the coming days across the state. “It is a process. You will come to know about it,” he said.


While calling for public cooperation, he said that the department will welcome consumers coming forward with complaints. Queried how well equipped is the State Public Health Laboratory in Kohima, he responded, “I won’t say it is well equipped but the department is getting more equipments.”