`This Is One In A Melon’: Shun your worries, enjoy watermelon this Ramadan; it is safe

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Srinagar: People can now enjoy watermelons in Ramadan, thanks to food laboratory reports confirming the absence of harmful substances,

In a recent turn of events, the streets of Srinagar were engulfed in panic as a tweet by doctors cautioned against consuming artificially ripened watermelons during Ramadan, sparking widespread concern among consumers and vendors alike.

Concerns regarding the safety of watermelons, a staple fruit during Ramadan, were raised after doctors’ warnings spread like wildfire on various social media platforms. 

Amidst the frenzy, consumers grappled with the dilemma of whether to abstain from purchasing watermelons altogether or risk potential health hazards by consuming them.

Amidst the social media storm, Kashmir’s food safety team swiftly responded, conducting comprehensive sampling across all districts. Samples were analyzed at the Food Laboratory Kashmir, reassuring consumers of watermelon safety.

In a press conference, Deputy Commissioner of Food Safety Kashmir, Shagufa Jalal, emphasized that laboratory tests found no adverse substances in the watermelon samples. She assured consumers of their safety and reiterated the department’s commitment to providing wholesome food.

“Based on the food laboratory tests no colour or chemicals have been found in the watermelons. As per the test reports, watermelons are of standard quality and are safe to consume. My department is committed to providing wholesome food to consumers. Consumer health is my priority. The drive of inspections will continue,” she said.

Assistant Commissioner of Food Safety, Yameen Nabi, highlighted in the press conference that consumers can identify naturally ripened watermelons by their yellowish underside. He said that this knowledge empowers consumers to make informed choices about their purchases of watermelons.

President of Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), Haji Mohammad Yaseen Khan, told the Kashmir Monitor that the clarification has provided relief and he is hopeful for increased watermelon sales during Ramadan. He acknowledged the financial strain on vendors due to the controversy but anticipated a recovery in sales.

Khan pointed out a significant drop in watermelon sales since the controversy arose but remained optimistic about the remainder of Ramadan. He anticipated a positive impact on consumer behavior following the reassuring test results.

“The controversy surrounding watermelon safety during Ramadan had disrupted the livelihoods of vendors, with sales plummeting. In last year at least 50 buses of watermelons were sold in a day and now not even six buses of watermelons are sold. However, with half of Ramadan remaining, there is hope for a resurgence in watermelon demand,” he said.