1.7 tonnes of mangoes found; 51 kg of calcium carbide seized from 218 shops
Even as the European Union banned the import of Indian Alphonso mangoes, the Food Safety and Drug Administration unit swung into action in Chennai on Tuesday, raiding outlets selling artificially-ripened mangoes. Three teams of officials conducted raids in Koyambedu, T. Nagar, and Kothwal Chavadi. Over 51 kg of calcium carbide was seized from 218 shops. At least 1.7 tonnes of mangoes were found to be artificially ripened. More than 200 food business operators also received awareness notices from the authorities,” according to an official.
According to food safety officials, calcium carbide, used to ripen mangoes, is a proven carcinogen.
On Tuesday, labourers were found packing calcium carbide into small sachets to be hidden in heaps of unripe fruits.
Use of carbide to ripen mangoes is an offence under the Food Safety and Standards Act.
Eating fruits ripened using the chemical might have serious health implications, experts added.
Common symptoms reported after eating such fruits are diarrhoea, vomiting, and eye and skin irritations.