In the midst of a thunderstorm, thousands of tons of poorly-stored flour donated by the Iraqi government were uncovered in the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium.
Now, a food safety team is being prevented from inspecting the flour bags.
On Thursday morning, a team of food safety experts from the Municipality of Ghobeiry tried to enter the stadium, which is situated within the said municipality, in order to check on the conditions of the flour, only to be denied entry.
“The Minister of Economy did not provide the permission for the inspectors to enter and inspect the food items and flour that is poorly stored below the stadium’s seats,” a spokesperson for the inspection team said in a video, posted online by LBCI reporter Edmond Sassine.
This comes a day after Ghobeiry’s Municipal Police found the 7,000 tons of flour in the stadium, sparking public outrage at the mismanagement of the vital aid donation Lebanon had received following the Beirut Port explosion that decimated the capital’s silos.
Caretaker Economy Minister Raoul Nehme, whom the head of the municipality blamed for the mishandling of the Iraqi donation, responded in a Wednesday tweet that the flour was temporarily stored in the stadium to be gradually distributed among mills and bakeries.
He explained that “all possible precautions to preserve the flour” had been taken for the storage, noting that the pictures circulating social media showed “materials damaged during the unloading and transportation process.”
As of the time of writing, Nehme has not commented on the development involving the food safety inspection team.