Lebanon Is Experiencing A Foodborne Salmonella Outbreak

Mohammad Zaatari

Zouhair Berro, head of the Consumer Protection Association, revealed to the public through VDL radio (100.5) that, due to Lebanon‘s inadequate implementation of the food safety law, salmonella bacteria has increased tremendously in the food services.

In 2016, the national food safety authority law was approved by the parliament. It came at a time when the Lebanese public and the international community began questioning how the country is operating without ensuring a law that covers food safety.

Now, Berro is stating that the law has remained inactive.

According to WebMD, salmonella is the type of bacteria that’s usually associated with food-related illness, since you can’t see, smell, or taste it. However, illnesses caused by this bacteria can lead to symptoms such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, fever, pain, and cramping in your stomach.

It’s not a chronic illness and can be treated at home, as WebMD reported that most people get better on their own at home within 4 to 7 days.

However, Lebanese agricultural producers and merchants continue to benefit from the loose enforcement of the law and regulations to seek the highest profit possible, while risking the health of the consumers.

Meanwhile, a program or a policy dealing with food safety in Lebanon is barely addressed by Lebanese officials, even though multiple warehouses have been raided for selling expired food.

At the beginning of this year, the police raided a warehouse storing large amounts of expired ingredients used to make sushi, a popular dish in Lebanon. The warehouse was supplying more than 250 restaurants and clients that serve sushi across the country.

Another incident that’s just as shocking came during the same month when a quantity of expired frozen meat at a butcher’s shop in Beirut was seized by the authorities.

While back in July of last year, the authorities raided multiple warehouses that were selling large amounts of expired chicken.

All these incidents have been continuous, leaving the public questioning why authorities have been failing to implement the food safety law in order to avoid more cases of food illnesses, at a time where the health sector is barely holding itself together due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Lebanon Is Experiencing A Foodborne Salmonella Outbreak

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