Imported fruits sold by supermarkets might be your poison

by Dasun Edirisinghe

 The National Toxicology and Poison Information Centre (NTPIC), of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka, yesterday warned consumers to be careful when buying fruits, especially those available in supermarkets, as they did not display either expiry date or best before date.

NTPIC Chief Dr. Waruna Gunathilake told The Island that several of the cases reported to them related to children who got sick after consuming grapes, apples and oranges purchased from supermarkets in the city.

He said children who developed allergic conditions and started vomiting and purging after consuming fruits had been hospitalised.

"When we checked some fruit samples, we detected some substances on the surfaces," Dr. Gunathilake said adding that they were yet to decide whether those substances were fungi or chemicals used to protect the fruits.

He said that even under refrigeration, fruits could not be kept forever and, therefore, their expiry dates had to be prominently displayed.

Expiry dates might be displayed on boxes in which the fruits were imported but consumers had no way of knowing them.

.When contacted, spokesman of the Ministry of Internal Trade and Co-operatives Nipun Ekanayake said that they would instruct the Consumer Affairs Authority to take necessary action to remedy the situation.

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