Goa’s Health Minister Vishwajit Rane on Saturday warned all “high-value” restaurants operating along the coastal belt in the state to obtain the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) licence within a month or face shutdown. The warning comes amid concerns over rising food adulteration and use of carcinogenic chemicals in fruits and vegetables by traders.
- The government is planning to carry out random tests on the fruits and vegetables procured by five-star hotels in the state.
- Without FDA permission, restaurants will be shut down.
- After 30 days, the state government will start taking action against the restaurants which don’t have (FDA) licence.
- The FDA has so far conducted checks at the markets in Mapusa, Ponda, Margao and Panaji cities.
Goa’s Drive against Food Adulteration
The action against restaurants in the coastal belt is part of pan-Goa drive against food adulteration and usage of carcinogenic chemicals in fruits and vegetables. Some traders use artificial ripening substances and other harmful material. The government has made it mandatory even for hawkers selling fruits and vegetables to obtain FDA licences.
Crackdown against Artificial Ripening of Fruits
Through the FDA, the government has been aggressively taking action against the artificial ripening of fruits as cases of cancer are rising in Goa. A week back, health minister had directed authorities to crack down on fruit-vegetable vendors using harmful substances.
The health department has also decided to write to five-star and other hotels asking them to reveal from where they procure fruits and vegetables. The five-star hotels and other hotels will be asked to tell the places from where fruits and vegetables are purchased.
On Saturday, the FDA conducted surprise checks at the Panaji fruit-vegetable market in association with the Corporation of the City of Panaji.
The FDA will upgrade its laboratory near Panaji so that the collected samples can be tested immediately.