March 11, 2012

Rotten Meat and Rotten Laws!

Police Arresting 3 for rotten meat? ( Read more from Daily Star)
 Stunning news?
 Not really! In a country where chaos is the norm, I wasn’t surprised when I heard the news of spoiled meat. Not surprised, but sad. Why this negligence? Why this ignorance? And mostly why this lack of truthfulness?
Selling food after their expiry date is becoming almost a legal thing to do.
Although we do have a consumer protection that belongs to the ministry of economy and who is responsible in inspecting food suppliers, supermarkets and restaurants, it is still lagging behind. The inspectors are either not enough, or not doing their jobs properly, or ( I am not implying this on all of them), they are being bribed to hide the truth.

The head of Consumers Lebanon said to Zawya:"That these recent seizures of spoiled food by the Consumer Protection Office are merely a media stunt that only scratches the surface of the problems of food safety in the country!"

But the director-general of the Economy Ministry, Fouad Flaifel, denied that the recent confiscations were a media stunt, and said they were part of the daily work of the office.

I walked around Beirut in the weekend to check whether this news affected the public. It seems it didn’t. All restaurants were packed with cravers for food, Hamra was full, Downtown and Zaitona Bay.
( I also started a question on my facebook page : Pearl's Powder)
Trusting the place where we eat is very crucial. I personally prefer to eat my own food even if a restaurant has a good reputation.

Lists of these places have been circulated around the net, LBC group even posted them. Monetary fines were implemented on the owners but sadly, some were reduced as if the citizen’s health and life is not taken into consideration!  It seems we, humans are becoming a cheap item nowadays and no one cares if we get poisoned or died the next day.

Unless there is a death case, juridical system in Lebanon states that the courts usually do not sentence anyone to prison. And actually there was a death issue happened in summer(check previous post), and no one was blamed. There is always some kind of bribery or a political “help” that will save the restaurant or food supplier.

The food and beverage industry is a great source of income for the Lebanese and is a great attraction for tourism. Can Lebanon afford an economic loss because of this damaging reputation? Can’t laws merely be amended properly?
Why do politicians have to protect one illegitimate person on the sake of the whole population? 
It is the time for the Lebanese to stop pretending that nothing will happen to them when they eat spoiled food. Indeed, it is the time for them to become aware and demand clean food for the sake of their health and their economy before it is too late.

See also: My letter to the Lebanese Syndicate of Restaurants

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