Official sources in the Meghalaya Health Department on Monday said that the second batch of samples were sent for test at a laboratory in Assam few days back, and the test report is yet to come.
“We expect to receive the test report tonight (Monday) or Tuesday,” the official said.
The samples were collected by the office of the Commissioner of Food Safety to confirm if fish from outside the State have been laced with formalin, after people were apprehensive that the preservative is harmful to people’s health.
A video of perished fish being fried was also circulated in social media.
Sources said that the first batch of samples collected from fishes brought from outside by suppliers were also sent for test at the laboratory in Assam, but the test report was negative.
An official, however, made it clear that the Meghalaya Government would want no second opinion in banning fish brought from outside if the test report from the second batch of samples is found positive.
Preservatives are used to ‘preserve’ food items so that there is no loss of taste or flavour in the product over a period of time.
By applying preservatives in perishable items including meat, vegetable and fruits, food items could be easily transported even from places thousands of miles away to the State, though the transport would take a few days or a few weeks.
Sources, however, said that not all preservatives are bad and the Government would take all necessary steps to ensure that food items pose no danger to people’s health.
Last week, the Assam Government had also banned import and sale of fish from other states for a period of 10 days following tests on samples that showed the presence of cancer causing chemical formalin.