Mangoes contaminated with caustic disinfectant

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Mangoes contaminated with caustic permanganate disinfectant

Mangoes coated with caustic disinfectant. Mangos were discovered in the branches of the Kaufland supermarket chain in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, which were contaminated with the disinfectant permanganate. As a precaution, the fruits were removed from the market.

According to the State Research Center for Health and Veterinary Saxony (LUA), the mangoes were probably already contaminated with the corrosive brownish-violet substance in the country of origin. In a Leipzig supermarket, however, the strain was only noticed after a saleswoman burned her hands while cleaning the mangoes, reports the largest Saxon newspaper, the “Freie Presse”.

Burns from contact with mangoes According to the state research institute, the fruits coated with the brownish-violet substance were discovered last week in Kaufland branches in Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. After it became clear that there was a significant permanganate load, the fruits were taken off the market as a precaution in order to avoid possible health risks for consumers. For example, potassium permanganate, which is often used as a disinfectant, is only considered to be toxic to a limited extent, but the irritant effect on contact with living tissue can lead to severe burns. Therefore, skin contact should be avoided as far as possible and oral intake should be prevented, the experts warn. Frank Stephan from the Veterinary and Food Inspectorate of the City of Leipzig also pointed out that permanganate "can cause local irritation or burns at very high concentrations and large amounts of exposure".

Fruit contaminated with permanganate in the country of origin In addition to the burns caused by the seller's mangoes contaminated with permanganate, the police say that no further health problems for customers or sales staff are known. So far, there have been no customer complaints, the authorities report. How the contamination of the mangoes was caused has not yet been conclusively clarified. "The surface contamination of the mango was probably already in the country of origin," explained Frank Stephan from the Veterinary and Food Inspectorate of the City of Leipzig. According to this, the mangoes in Nicaragua were probably contaminated with the permanganate used as a crop protection agent to combat fungi and bacteria. Permanganates usually serve mostly as disinfectants and for cleaning organic liquids. Permanganates are also used for cleaning exhaust air and waste water in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

Contaminated mangoes were immediately withdrawn from the sale According to the city of Leipzig, the permanganate contamination of the mangoes in the Leipzig Kaufland branch was rather harmless to the health of consumers. The seller suffered slight burns on her hands while cleaning, but the concentration on the mangoes does not indicate any further health problems. In addition, the mangoes are only contaminated externally, so that oral ingestion, which would have more serious health consequences, is rather unlikely. Nevertheless, Kaufland reacted immediately and removed all contaminated mangoes from the stores in Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. (fp)

Image: Joujou /

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