Meghalaya Food safety officials today began random testing of fish samples using the latest test kits for traces of carcinogenic formalin in fishes imported from other states, an official said.
"Today, food safety officials conducted 20 random tests on fishes imported from other states mainly from Andhra Pradesh and they were all tested negative for formalin," Food Safety deputy commissioner S N Sangma told PTI.
He said 20 samples were collected from wholesalers and randomly tested by using a simple, rapid detection kit for any traces of possible uses of formalin as a preservative.
The test kits, called 'CIFTest' have been developed by Central Institute of Fisheries Technology and on Wednesday, 14 of such kits have arrived in the state, according to Sangma.
Today the tests were conducted on fishes collected from wholesalers in the state capital and from Friday, fishes’ samples in other districts will also be tested using the CIFTest kits, he said.
The state is awaiting 13 more fish samples sent for detailed testing at the State Laboratory in Assam. 13 of the 26 samples were tested negative for formalin, Sangma said.
Meghalaya imports about 21,000 million tonnes of fishes annually from Andhra Pradesh and Assam despite improvement in fish productions in the state in the last five years, Fisheries Minister Comingone Ymbon said.
He said the state produces only 12,330 million tonnes in the FY 2016-17 while the total requirement is about 33,000 million tonnes annually.