Suleiman Calls for Increasing Penalties against ‘Food Safety’ Violatorsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Suleiman called on Wednesday for increasing the penalties imposed on those who are violating the “food safety” measures and endangering public safety.
“The issue should be treated on all levels,” Information Minister Walid al-Daouq quoted Suleiman as saying.
The president described the seizure of large amounts of spoiled food as a disaster that tarnishes Lebanon’s image.
For his part, Prime Minister Najib Miqati hailed the Ministry of Economy’s Consumer Protections Directorate’s role in exposing the spoiled food across Lebanon.
The discovery of large quantity of spoiled food across Lebanon increased fear among citizens.
Miqati will head a meeting on Wednesday to set an effective mechanism to follow up the issue and detain those who are involved, An Nahar newspaper reported.
The meeting will be held in the presence of Economy Minister Nicolas Nahhas, Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi, Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan, Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and high-ranking officials from the general security, the state security, the army intelligence and the customs.
“Officials are determined to resolve the issue permanently,” a ministerial source told An Nahar.
According to the daily, a small committee prepared, in coordination with Nahhas, an “urgent” draft law which seeks to alter verdicts issued concerning consumer protection matters.
The modifications basically boost the amount of the financial fines, force the closure of the institutions that are violating “food safety” procedures, and calls for maximum penalties against the violators.
The National News Agency reported that tens of boxes containing frozen lamb meat were found in trash containers in al-Marwaniya, al-Dawoudiya and Zefta towns in al-Zahrani.
The boxes that are made in China had fake labels and dates.
“The boxes were disposed in our towns… The source is unknown yet,” al-Marouniya mayor Mohammed Diab Hijazi said.
He noted that the Municipality is currently pursuing the source of these boxes.
“The towns don’t have any depots to store any frozen meat,” Hijazi added.
The municipality destroyed the boxes.
On Tuesday, Ministry of Economy’s Consumer Protections Directorate raided food depots in Tripoli and seized 20 tons of goods and sealed the warehouse.
The confiscated food products contained shrimps, fish, poultry and frozen vegetables.
Recently, the Consumer Protection Directorate raided several warehouses in al-Fanar, Tarik el-Jadeedah, Beirut’s southern suburbs, Tyre and Marjayoun for selling spoiled meet and food product.
The seized products included poultry, meat, canned food, cheese and several other consumer products.