Trichy: A surprise raid by the food safety department led to the seizure of 3.5 tonnes of artificially ripened mangoes from godowns at the Gandhi market here on Monday.
The team headed by D Selvaraj, food safety officer of Gandhi market area, found 101 trays of mangoes, weighing 1.4 tonnes, undergoing artificial ripening at a godown during the mass raid. They also found two boxes of carbide stones in the shop.
The next violation was found from a nearby godown where the officials found 2.1 tonnes of mangoes being artificially ripened using carbide stones.
The total volume of Monday’s seizure was 3.5 tonnes. This the first such seizure of unhealthy mangoes this season.
The raid was carried out in 30 shops in Gandhi market which trade mangoes by bringing the fruit from several parts of the state and supplying them to the local traders in the city. Mangoes from Thuvarankurichi, in Trichy, and Salem accounts from most of the supply.
The seized mango varieties include Iman Pasanth, Banganapalli, Alphonso and Sinduram.
Food safety officials said that owners of the two godowns brazenly violated norms despite advice and warning from the department before the commencement of mango season this year.
Officials claimed that the majority of mango traders followed approved natural ripening methods while few others indulged in the dangerous practice. They have also warned of severe health complications of consuming such mangoes which will cause eye irritation, vomiting etc.
Carbide stones, which are meant for welding works, is easily available to buy from some welding lathes.
The seized mangoes and carbide stones were taken to the Ariyamangalam dump yard and buried as per procedure.