By Tissa Kotinkaduwa
A racket of selling spoilt vegetables, meat and fruits discarded by wholesale dealers in Pettah and supermarkets in the city, was busted in Ja-Ela, by a group of Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) of the Ja-Ela Pradeshiya Sabha.
The detection comes following a complaint lodged to the Ja-Ela Urban Council MHO by the residents of an unbearable and nauseating stench emanating from the storage location.
The racketeers had gotten hold of rotten big onions, potatoes, which are unfit for human consumption, under the pretext of providing them as food for pigs. However, they have washed and cleaned these rotten food items and had provided them for public fairs and for the use of some hotels in the Ja-Ela and Kandana areas.
This racket had been uncovered during a raid of a storage complex in the Tudella area, where tons of these spoilt items were stored.
It was revealed that this racket had been in operation for over many years.
During the raid, the officials had found over six tons of vegetables, fruits and other foodstuffs inside this storage.
They also found 1,130 kilos of pork stacked in a deep freezer fixed inside a container on one side of the storage room.
Officials revealed that this stock of meat, which was taken into custody, had not been examined by a veterinary surgeon or approved by a PHI as fit for human consumption.
The raid was led by PHIs S.W. Wijesinha, P.K. Amerasekera, and A. M. Bandara.
At the time of the raid, the officials had observed about 20 persons engaged in cleaning the vegetables and fruits inside the storage, and they also found that these individuals were paid Rs. 250 per hour.
The stock of meat and other food items were kept ready to be released to the market. They were taken into custody by the PHIs and later destroyed at the garbage dump at Suduwella, Ja-Ela. Under the direction of the Chairman of the Ja-Ela Urban Council, Shammika Dias, the food stock was destroyed using the incinerator at the garbage dump.
The PHI of Ja-Ela Anura Abeyrathne said that after questioning the owner of this storage, steps would be taken to file a court action.
The racketeers had gotten hold of rotten big onions, potatoes, which are unfit for human consumption, under the pretext of providing them as food for pigs. However, they have washed and cleaned these rotten food items and had provided them for public fairs...