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Vet Body Bans Open Fish Sales
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Vet Body Bans Open Fish Sales

Peddling has long been a customary way of presenting goods in Iran. Sidewalks are flourishing stands for peddlers and hawkers. People stop when some wares on the pavement stall take their fancy. But it’s a different story when it comes to protein products, being potential carriers of ‘exotic’ diseases, or simply susceptible to infection.
The sweltering heat of Tehran has caused apprehension about the risks of selling bulk fish and shrimp in crowded places like Shush, Sarcheshmeh, Jomhuri and Tajrish.
The fish shops are not necessarily in a better shape; their displays are usually outside in the open air, exposed to all passersby. With no proper packaging the fishes and shrimps are submerged in crushed ice. It is time to reconsider how the sea foods should be presented. Mohsen Meshkat, deputy at the Veterinary Organization believes that there should be a gradual acculturation for hygienic presentation of fishery supplies, reports the Iran Veterinary Organization portal.

  Refrigeration
Meshkat clearly states that protein products, particularly fisheries supplies, must not be peddled on streets and sidewalks; rather they should be confined to appropriate, hygienic places. Such products should be kept either refrigerated at temperatures between 2 and 4 degrees centigrade, or in frozen state between -12 and -18 degrees centigrade. In case hawkers intend to present fresh sea food in crushed ice, the product should not be displayed in open, exposed to street viruses and bacteria.
Red meat and chicken are no longer sold in bulk or in unhygienic conditions.
Even agricultural products are directed to appropriate markets.
 In all chain stores there are freezers for fishery products, Meshkat adds. With regards to high probability of diseases and contamination in fishery products, he recommends people not to purchase from shops that lack hygiene. The media can increase public awareness on what people should keep in mind when purchasing their protein needs. It is in fact the customers who can dictate their terms to the retailers, he says.

  Buying Tips
With all the precautions taken by the Veterinary Organization and relevant officials, it would still come handy when one can tell fresh fish from the stale. Here are some tips to help you find your own fresh whitefish:
. The eyes of fresh fish are round with clear pupils and corneas.
. Fresh fish smells good, with no rancid, acidic or ammonia odor.
. The scales should be lustrous and resilient.
. The flesh should be firm and elastic. Examine the elasticity of the flesh by pressing your finger on the fish; if the depression lingers after the impress of your finger, the fish is too stale.
. In emptied fishes, the peritoneum - the membrane covering the abdominal organs – should be smooth, firm and transparent.
. The skin should be taut, bright, and shiny with rainbow glow and without shades of different, especially darker colors. Make sure you don’t find blood smears near the head or along the spine.
.Finally, the grills are wet, pink or bright red without mucus. Sniff at the grill. If it smells like seaweeds, it is fresh out of water. If the grill gives out a sour fermented odor, drop the fish and leave!

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