Four more ice factories closed down

Close on the heels of the closing down of four ice factories, four more had to down shutters for using contaminated water

Published: 01st May 2013 10:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st May 2013 10:12 AM   |  A+A-

Four more ice factories were closed down in Njarakkal and Pallippuram as per the order of the Food Safety officials on Tuesday after the samples collected from them revealed the presence of chemicals.

K Ajithkumar, Food Safety officer, said that the samples of ice collected in the first week of April was tested at the Regional Analytical Laboratory in Kakkanad.

Like the results of the earlier inspections, those held in the four ice plants also showed that the water was mixed with chemicals such as formalin and ammonia to make ice. “We will send the samples to Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) for further tests. Strict measures will be initiated against the violators,” he said.

Formalin and ammonia which is used to preserve fish has been mixed in the water to make ice. “The use of ammonia in ice will make the fish look fresh. However, he said that though the samples revealed the presence of chemicals, its sources could not be traced any where inside the plant. “We are still clueless about how they mixed the chemicals in the manufacture of ice as we could not find any trace of the substance during our thorough search,” he said.

The Food Safety officials had to face stiff resistance from the ice factory owners on Tuesday. The latter alleged that the officials had not given them notice before closing down the factories. Besides, the closure will also hit the fishing sector.

Weeks ago, the Food Safety officials already closed down four ice plants in Thoppumpady, Kochi Harbour and Perumbavoor after the units were found using chemically contaminated water for making ice. The ice factory owners have called for an indefinite strike from May 2 onwards.   The inspections were held in Kochi as part of the drive against the use of contaminated ice.


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