Category Archives: Food

It’s Safe To Eat At ABC

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LAFS via ABC

I never doubted food safety at ABC restaurants but it’s good to hear that they are raising awareness on that matter and comforting people that they are LAFS certified. Meanwhile, Minister Bou Faour continues to unveil new violations and the latest was sealing with red wax Center Taanayel’s factory for expired products.

Check Out Awesome non-Terrorist Pizza: Domino’s Pizza In Syria

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domios syria

I have no idea how this page is still up and no one reported yet. Check out the last few posts:

Enhanced security in central Damascus restaurants!
THANKYOU OBAMA!

The toilets are NOT a place to dispose of inert grenades! We’ve been having issues with this a lot lately, especially with the IS militants.
-Domino’s Syria Team

1 large pizza for every IS corpse in our Damascus restaurants!
-Dominos Pizza Syria team

We’ve been getting asked a lot about this lately and we would like to clear this up:
NO! We do not rent our ovens out for mass disposal of bodies!
More lies made up by Pizza Hut™!

Thanks Maia!

BRGR Co. Opening In Chelsea On December 1

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uk

I had the chance to talk recently with one of the Brgrco UK branch managers when I was tasting their new exquisite “Cafe de Paris” burger and I was really happy to hear that their Soho branch is doing really well, and that they are opening soon on King’s Road.

The opening is set for December 1 so if you are visiting London anytime soon, make sure to pass by and grab a burger!

brgrco

Beirut And Tripoli Slaughterhouses Temporarily Closed

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slaughter

I read in the past few days that slaughterhouses in Beirut and Tripoli were temporarily closed as they failed to meet health standards regarding the way animals are killed and how the facility is maintained. This is good news but it’s funny that they decided to examine the slaughterhouses after checking the restaurants and supermarkets. Usually you go after the source or the suppliers then you check the other end but let’s look at the bright side and hope they fix these slaughterhouses.

Speaking of Beirut’s Maslakh, I’ve shared a video a year ago on the malpractices being committed inside and LBCI even did a report on food safety back in May 2013. I even visited the place while looking for the Beirut crocodile earlier this year.

Tasting The New Tarboosh Flavors: Hazelnut And Strawberry

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I finally managed to find the new Tarboosh flavors after looking at more than 5 supermarkets and small shops. Supermarket Achrafieh didn’t have them, O&C only had the strawberry flavor only, TSC Zouk Mosbeh didn’t have any but Charcutier Aoun in Jeita had both. In fact, I only found the strawberry one at first at Aoun but asked the guy who went and got me a box of hazelnut from the storage room.

I have no idea why it was so hard to find them but I wasn’t disappointed at all, specially with the Hazelnut one. In fact I didn’t like the strawberry mix that much and doubt that i’ll have it again, but the Hazelnut is spot on as it really tastes good! I like it almost as much as the original one now. Hazelnut mixes better with the original than the strawberry and its after-taste is also much better.

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Roadster Diner To Donate A Full Working Lab To The Health Ministry

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roadster

Roadster Diner has re-asserted its commitment to food safety and quality and has decided to donate a full working lab to the Ministry of Public Health to improve their capabilities. Of course this is a good move but I am honestly quite surprised that the full report hasn’t been issued yet by Minister Bou Faour. We know nothing about the nature of the violations, the standards applied etc …

Instead of announcing few names every now and then, he should do it all at once and follow up in a month and that’s it. If his results are scientific and prove wrongdoings we all want to see how and where. As for Roadster, and despite being ISO 22000 certified, I think they should release reports showing their chicken is safe from the same laboratories the government is using.

[YouTube]

What Could غير مطابق Mean?

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kol via Al Jomhouria

Public Health Minister Wael Bou Faour published a new list of “bad” restaurants and supermarkets today but we have yet to see the full report upon which these checks were conducted. Just to make myself clear, I am fully supportive of this initiative but I don’t agree with the approach that the minister has taken. The businesses that were found guilty and the Lebanese have the right to know everything related to this scandal and what how severe is every violation. Stating that a specific item at a reputable chain or supermarket is “غير مطابق” could mean a million things and not giving further details could harm a restaurant’s reputation and scare away customers for the wrong reasons.

Moreover, I am very surprised that he hasn’t released the full list and is giving out few names every 2 or 3 days. What’s the point of that? Why focus on few names and leave the rest for later? If he wants his campaign to be successful, he should be scientific and professional about it. In all cases, everyone is still waiting for the full report if it will ever be released.

In order to illustrate better what I mean, check out Elyse Abdel Massih‘s take on this matter and the example she gave of what a “غير مطابق” chicken breast could mean:

To help better illustrate this, i’ll give a short example of how a simple chicken breast might be evaluated by the ministry and for the sake of argument lets forgo for now any potential responsibility of the suppliers who actually provide the chicken to their client restaurants and supermarkets.

1- Did the restaurant follow the right checklist for each item received to make sure that the received item is up to the health standard? (Expiry date, quantity, description of item, temperature, clean, odor, color, refrigerated…) ?
2- Did the restaurant have these sections available: cold section, dry stores, vegetable section, pastry lab, dishwashing, central kitchen?
3- If all sections are available are they also efficiently separated?
4- Was the refrigerator temperature the right one? Were the items in it separated properly? (The chicken always goes below the meat but never above)
5- Were the defrosting, cutting, knives clean and not used on other products? Separating chicken from meat? Water used to clean it also clean?
6- How about ambient room temperature, location, and the windows were they opened or closed? (They are not allowed to be open)
7- What about surrounding chemical hazards?( Strong perfumes , pesticides..)
8- Was there control of worker personal hygiene in place? (Health, hair, nails, shoes..)
9- Was there a risk of cross contamination? (It occurs when bacteria cross from food to food, hand to food or equipment to food)

Any point or all of them may have led to the stamp of “غير مطابق” or ”Not compliant” .

The ministry of health should publish the list of restaurants with explanation of what wasn’t up to the standard to avoid causing major reputation damage and mass panic.

If the mistake wasn’t a major one (transferring salmonella is way different than placing chicken above meat or forgetting a hairnet) the inspectors of ministry of health are obliged to take immediate actions on the spot before going public. Isn’t that what inspectors do?

PS: Elyse Abdel Massih is dietitian with experience and knowledge in food service