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Lebanon tackles increase in foodborne illness

By Joe Whitworth+

11-Mar-2015

Picture: WHO
Picture: WHO

Lebanon has stepped up food safety monitoring after an increase in foodborne illnesses.

The Lebanese Ministry of Public Health inspected restaurants, slaughterhouses, supermarkets and farms late last year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Wael Abou Faour, The Minister of Public Health, named more than 1,000 establishments with unsatisfactory food sampling or inspection results.

Many were cited for unsafe meat and dairy products. Some were shut down, pending completion of needed improvements and re-inspection.

Consumers are now more alert to food they buy and eat, establishments are reinforcing their internal policies and more restaurants are seeking certification from the International Organization for Standardization.

Lebanon already had a draft food safety law, but in 2014 the law was reactivated and presented to the parliament’s Joint Committees where it was approved. 

“We are keen to ensure the continuity of the campaign, which has become a sustainable administrative task that will not stop with a change of ministers,” said Abu Faour at a news conference.

“I hope we are laying the groundwork for the permanent procedures of food safety in this country.”

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