Shillong, Jun 9 (IANS): The Meghalaya government has banned the sale, distribution and storage of imported fish for a period of 15 days after a sample test of river water fish showed the presence of formalin, officials said Friday.
If anyone violates the government order, the person would be punished with seven years in jail and a fine of Rs 10 lakhs.
In notification, the state's Commissioner for Food Safety M. Kurbah said that out of the 40 samples of fish tested, 30 were positive for formalin.
The analysis reports of Tuesday from the Assistant Food Analyst of Meghalaya government, said that the samples were highly toxic and injurious to health.
The Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, indicates the preservatives permitted to be used in select articles of food and formalin is not included in the said list of permitted preservatives.
The notification said that the distribution, storage and sale of fresh fish treated with formalin or other unpermitted preservatives render the articles 'unsafe" under the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006.
"The storage, distribution or sale of imported fresh fish or crustaceans brought from outside the state is hereby prohibited under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 for a period of 15 days in the interest of public health or till corrective measures are taken," the notification said.
Meghalaya imports various types of fish mostly from Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam and Bangladesh.