Tribune News Service
Amritsar, May 24
Panic gripped fruit merchants at Old Sabzi Mandi and Vegetable Market, Vallah, as they ran about frantically after shutting their shops, as a Health Department team raided the sites early in the morning today to check reports of artificial ripening of fruits.
At both these markets from where the maximum of fruit sale business is handled, shopkeepers closed their shops hurriedly on seeing the team and left the place. However, the Health Department team was able to seize Ethylene used for artificial ripening of fruit from a few shops which it managed to check.
Assistant Food Commissioner Rajinderpal Singh said, “We would only check two or three shops at each of these markets as shopkeepers ran away.” He said it was not possible for them to raid each shop in the market at the same time. “Neither it is possible, nor do we have enough manpower for the purpose. But the raid has proved that artificial ripening of fruits is being done,” he said.
The department has also collected samples of mango, banana and papaya which would be sent to a laboratory to test if these were artificially ripened.
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