In addition to exposing restaurants that supply unsafe food, the Food Safety Team and local health department officials monitor the supply of fish imported from other states to unearth adulterated and rotten fish. The reduced price of such unsanitary stock would be an attraction for roadside restaurants and those dealing with large-scale food parcel supply.
Some local fish traders have expressed support for the control campaign as their business is down due to the entry of cheap fish stocks from other states. As a result of intensified inspections by security brigades, many wholesale suppliers to Kozhikode fish markets have started rejecting stock from other states.
“Over the past week, three major cases of poor quality fish being sold have come to light in Kozhikode district. Those who were fined for this offense were mainly local traders who secured wholesale stock at a low rate,” an official from the Department of Food Security said. He said failure to use standard cold storage facilities was a major reason stocks were going stale.
The food safety team wants to inspect the cold stores of various hotels and restaurants. The main purpose of the inspection is to expose the presumed preservation of unhygienic fish and meat purchased several weeks or months ago.
Trucks used for interstate fish transportation will also be checked at various points. If such a problem is found, the stocks will be seized and destroyed on site. Test strips are now available with squads to instantly expose bulk stocks containing toxic chemicals such as ammonia or formalin.
Blitz inspections are also envisaged at various fishing ports and fish landing centers to check the quality of fish auctioned each day. According to Fisheries Department officials, their teams remain vigilant against attempts to sell juveniles. Maritime law enforcement squads are also on duty to track illegal activities on the ground, they said.