Tribune News Service
Amritsar, September 22
A team of the Health Department collected 14 samples of “synthetic” khoya as well as “artificially-ripened” fruits from five outlets in the city today. Meanwhile, some shopkeepers at the khoya market at Lohgarh Gate tried to manhandle them.
District Health Officer Lakhbir Singh Baghowalia, who was leading the team, said, “Luckily, we had a police team accompanying us. When we reached the market, two shopkeepers started running away. One of them was carrying synthetic khoya. As we started chasing them, other shopkeepers came in their support. Later, 15 kg of synthetic khoya was confiscated after collecting samples.”
The team also seized calcium carbide from the shop, run by Narinder Sharma at Nehru Market Sabzi outside Hall Gate. Baghowalia said, “We had taken samples of artificially-ripened fruits in the past as well. The seizure of calcium carbide will prove our case that such carcinogenic material are being used.”
The Health Department has recently received instructions from the government to check the sale of artificially-ripened fruits. As per the instructions, a team should be constituted comprising one representative each of the DC and the MC besides health officials to conduct inspections at fruit markets on a regular basis.
Officials also collected samples of Patanjali mustard oil from a karyana store, spices and masala from a factory at Tarn Taran road, cakes and other bakery products from a shop in Ranjit Avenue.
Baghowalia said all 14 samples collected were dispatched to a food testing laboratory. The artificial ripening of fruits with carcinogenic chemicals is punishable under law with imprisonment of up to two years.
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