People Should not eat Red Snapper fish Head- Minister Khader
Mangaluru: “The fish lovers should not eat red snapper (Lutjanus bohar), because they have high toxins stored in their heads. The red snappers are heat resistant and thus toxins remain in their head. The concerned authorities should bring awareness among the people and inform them to take care of such fish”, said the minister for Food and civil supplies, U T Khader in a press meet held at the DC office here on October 6.
Recently more than 150 people fell sick after eating the fish head curry in Ullal and near by areas. In this regard a meeting was held with the experts from fisheries college, Doctors and officers from the food department at the DC office.
Minister U T Khader said, “The fish processing units should take care while processing such fish. While getting such fish in the units, owners should see that such fish will not reach the middle men. Because if they get such fish, they will sell it for cheaper price and people will fall sick. Even the fish heads should not reach the canteen’s. The poor people are the victims because when they get fish for cheap price, they will buy it without knowing that such fish contain toxins in the head. If such incidents occur in future, the owners of the fish processing units will be held responsible and they will have to bear the hospital expenses of the victims”, warned Khader.
Khader also advised the food, safety and health officers to bring awareness among the people about the toxin’s being stored in the head of such fish.
Marine authority officer Ashok Kumar said, “We had visited the fish procession unit for investigation and realized that the fish heads which the victims consumed are somewhere near to South Africa. The fishermen had gone for deep sea fishing and caught the red snappers having high toxins.
Dr Pratibha from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Mangaluru Unit said that due to the global weather, especially during fish breeding small fish in the sea consume algie and the big fishes eat these small fishes which release toxins and this toxin gets stored in the heads of the big fish. The toxin which is heat resistant remains in the head of the fish for sometime, this toxin is harmless to fish but dangerous to human beings. Even while cooking the toxins are not destroyed. Toxins in the fish are found in areas where the pearls are produced.
Deputy commissioner Dr Jagadeesha said, “We have found toxins in some variety of the fish, the fish processing units should take care of it. For any reason the fish parts which are dangerous should not be sold to the people. Such parts should be processed and used as fertilizer. The fish processing units should not sell fish heads or waste to the canteens. If anyone is found selling such fish heads or waste, action will be taken against the owners and the units will be shut down, warned the DC”.
ADC Kumar, DHO Dr Ramakrishna, Dr Rajesh, Dr Venugopal, Dr Venugopal and others were also present.