Ministers stressed on Saturday their support to the food safety campaign waged by Health Minister Wael Abou Faour, considering it a necessity to end the chaos in Lebanon.
“Establishing a food safety association would end such a crisis on the long term,” Agriculture Minister Akram Shehayeb said during a meeting between several ministers and the Economic Committees at the Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture in Beirut’s Hamra area.
“Minister Abou Faour created a positive shock through his campaign,” Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq told reporters.
He stressed that all violators should be held accountable.
“The stance adopted by Abou Faour isn’t personal,” Mashnouq said, pointing out that the culture of accepting and turning a blind-eye to violations must end.
For his party, Tourism Minister Michel Pharaon, who previously rejected the health minister’s tactics in announcing the names of institutions violating food safety measures via new conferences, said that “Abou Faour’s measures shed the light on a huge problem.”
Economy Minister Alain Hakim said that the “state has long neglected the food safety case,” warning that the scandal will have an impact on the country’s economy.
Industry Minister Hussein al-Hajj Hassan called on ministers not to point fingers regarding the food scandal but to assume responsibilities in order to reach integration.
Abou Faour vowed to continue the campaign, stressing that “protecting citizens doesn’t oppose the country’s economy.”
Authorities Friday shut down more slaughterhouses, restaurants, supermarkets and other retailers selling contaminated food as part of a crackdown launched last week on food establishments violating safety and sanitation standards.
Tripoli’s slaughterhouse was closed Friday by the Internal Security Forces in line with a decision taken by north Lebanon Governor Ramzi Nohra.
The decision came after he received a Health Ministry report listing changes that needed to be made for the slaughterhouse to conform to health standards.
The report said livestock must be hanged during slaughter and not laid on the ground and that the abattoir should also be equipped with refrigerators and storage units to separate meat.