Fish is an important source of protein as well as nutrients. City fish lovers should now beware. There is alarming news for you. Imported fish from other states may contain a dangerous chemical called formalin. Cities like New Delhi, Nagaland, Kerala, Tripura, and Punjab are also affected by fish adulterated with formalin.
There have been several reports over the past year that Fish wholesalers are using this toxic chemical. Formalin is used to preserve dead bodies and animals in labs. Now traders are using formalin to preserve the fish and prevent fish from rotting during transportation.
Patna City has a big fish market, as well as fish lovers with different types of fishes local as well as Andhra fishes, are also available in the market. Boring road has a popular fish market which provides all types of sea-food and freshwater fish.
Recently the food safety department of Kerala seized 6000kg of fish laced with formalin. These fishes had come from Andhra Pradesh. Now the big question is whether our City fish market is also selling toxic formalin injected fish and prawns?
Formalin is a chemical substance consisting of 37% formaldehyde methanol and water. Consumption of formalin treated fish can cause uncontrolled growth of cell and cancer. It also causes inflammation of the linings of mouth and throat.
It is said that small, sustained does of around 4% formaldehyde can rot our liver and 37% formaldehyde-water solution if swallowed, can kill an adult in a minute.
The food safety department of Bihar should keep eye on the fish traders they should check traders in the state and city with regards of food safety standards and also check the standard quality of consignments being imported from other states.
Most importantly, you should be vigilant! Fish is normally preserved in ice. If the seller doesn’t appear to be very bothered about keeping the temperature of the fish cool, something may be fishy. Smell the fish. If it doesn’t have the natural, fishy smell, then don’t buy it!
[based on media reports]
Nihal Kumar Dutta
BMC 5th Sem (St. Xavier’s college of mgmt. &Tech.)