In view of the recent news articles which appeared on local dailies pertaining to the transport of fish into Goa through railways and the alleged doubts raised on the checks of these consignments, the Directorate of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) have informed that a surveillance inspection was carried from 4 pm on July 21, 2022 to 3 am of July 22, 2022 by the officials of the FDA South Goa branch, on the fish received through railways at Margao station.
It is reported that the fish arrives through several trains from Western and Eastern states through insulated thermocol boxes and are unloaded near the Parcel depot of Konkan railways. These boxes are then loaded onto local vehicles for further transport. One such vehicle was intercepted at about 5.15 pm outside the railway jurisdiction. The documents were verified and it was observed that the stock was ordered by one of the vendors attached to the wholesale fish market at Margao.
The vendor was summoned at the site and further details were obtained from the vendor. The vendor narrated that they order the consignment through railways from Eastern states and added that the transport time through railways is much less as compared to road ways. This consignment is picked from Margao station and transported to their insulated vehicles parked near the Margao wholesale market. The vehicles are then allowed to enter the wholesale market at about 10 pm onwards. The vendor also produced the FSSAI license for transportation and wholesale of fish.
The Quality Council of India (QCI) Lab carries out testing of the stock loaded on all such vehicles and after reports are issued to these vendors by QCI the stock is sold in the market.
This entire process explained by the vendor was verified by the team and old reports of previous days were also verified. The above process was cross checked with the QCI team and it was confirmed by them as well.
Hence, it is clear that stock unloaded at Margao railway station is mainly intended for sale at wholesale market and undergoes checks at the QCI lab located at the market.
The insulation boxes too were opened at random to check for cold chain compliance and it was observed that adequate ice was used to preserve the fish. QCI later carried out the testing of this particular consignment and the reports were clear, hence fish vendor was allowed to proceed with the sale.