I was back from an outing yesterday when I joined my dad in watching Marcel Ghanem’s Kalam el Nass which happened to be on food regulation in Lebanon and health concerns after the poisoning that killed 1 young man and harmed 6 others at a restaurant in Jieh called Utopia. I myself was food poisoned a few times in the past few years with the last time being a week ago. There’s nothing you can do honestly except not going to that place you’ve been to.
The reports shown by LBCI were horrific and pretty much showed us that we should not be eating anywhere outside our homes. How people operate at the slaughter house is just disturbing and tests from few samples taken from supermarkets and shops showed high levels of poisonous substances at the AUB lab.
As far as the Jieh restaurant is concerned, the doctor who treated the young man who died made an interesting phone intervention on how the boy was only admitted 48 hours by his family and did not show signs of food poisoning. I am guessing he was hinting at drug abuse but I am not sure.
All in all, there’s no doubt that we don’t have efficient food regulation policies in Lebanon and from the political bickering that occured between the ministers of health and tourism and some other MP, it doesn’t look like things are getting any better. Nevertheless, I urge LBCI to point out risky restaurants and tell us which ones are the good ones for a change. I don’t understand how they expect people to avoid bad food if they are not shown where’s the good food?
I think the best way to handle food issues in Lebanon is for LBCI and other media channels to have a safe list of restaurants for all to go to and blacklist some others, thereby helping people avoid getting food poisoned. Teaching people how to check for fake or bad products bought at supermarkets could also be helpful.
Last but not least, we need some decent statistics on that matter because according to the ministry of tourism and health, only 96 cases of food poisoning were reported in all of 2010 while the local health expert Marcel had on the show claimed to have over 100 cases per day as per the hospitals’ reports.
I completely agree – regulation in Lebanon is completely non-existent and the threat from contaminated food is too great.
I was thinking about the issue today as I walked by a gumball dispenser at a mall in Dubai and on the side of the machine there was a sticker from the municipality stating that the machine and its contents were tested by the food inspection department and have found it fit for consumption. Something we’ll probably never see in our life time in Lebanon.
I didn’t watch the episode of kalam el nass, but my friends told me about it and honestly… I’m HORRIFIED, I mean.. i know fnb in lebanon is not top notch.. but the way my friends described it, i almost threw up.
This is the only industry that’s doing kinda ok.. PLEASE let’s NOT ruin it…
kitchen staff:how hard is it to throw away a piece of burger if it fell on the floor??? huh 🙁
Its not only LBC, but other media channels should also research, investigate as well as point out the risky restaurants to the people, showing us videos, and not giving us names doesnt help us much. Who cares if these places go out of business, the employees there will find other jobs eventually, if their owners are high ranking people in this country, or have some political affiliation, then other media sources should also campaign against this place,the owner might stop one channel, but he surely wont be able to stop several at once
Pointing out which restaurant is safe and which one is not is not the Media’s responsibility.
The media highlights it, and it’s up to the regulators to enforce and advertise it…
anyway, when you notice that food is not cooked right, you should say something about it to the people, not be shy and go on shoveling it down your throat. Been living and eating out for 30 years and i travel quite a bit and i never had an issue.
Maybe that guy that died had an allergy on some ingredient? restaurants don’t point that out here, although i have seen a menu at a fancy place once that did say that stuff has been prepared in area where nut is also handled…to those allergic to nuts…
can you imagine a Lebanese person allergic to nuts or sesame??
Hi All, we are trying to increase the awareness of Lebanese customers and we need your help, we have started a facebook page called “Food Poisoning victims of Lebanon”, it will be pure scientific where members are free to share their food poisoning experience and warn other members about the bad establishments, I guess we as community have to do this job on behalf of the government and the media.
How can Marcel Ghanem classify the restaurants as good or bad based on what?
Government regulation and laws are needed.
the media is looking for a public and clientele and here goes..they got what they are looking for!
As for the Lebanese,eating out will remain trial and error………..
Since they have a professional team and a bunch of experts touring restaurants and checking them out, they could give us an idea about that place and how much it conforms to the standards.
Do you really want us to wait for the government to do his job?
What you can do Najib is push to create these laws.You have the real experts in food safety like Rita Abou Obeid and i am sure others but No structure..you have the political party who wants the change.Give them work to do..and there are people like you who are blogging to point out problems..the direction of your effort should be towards the ministry of health and tourism…you have to lobby and push and have laws established and followed!!! it can be done!!! Good luck,truly,from all my heart…I dont live in Lebanon anymore and it makes me really sad to see how far behind we are but with educated and willing people ,all is possible.
Akh ya Roula,
You’ve been outside for a long time it seems. The least of the government’s worries these days is food poisoning, that is if the government lasts.
I will probably be accused of collaborating with Israel if I lobby for anything extensively and critisize its work. C’est la mode.
Nevertheless, I will keep on posting and pointing out such issues La Allah yefreja.
Eh akid, give you the names of the places? Are you stupid? The ministry of health should do something about it not the people. It will only be more problematic if people who are not at all qualified to do anything about it are given the names of the places. It will only lead to speculation among the ignorant and the spreading of stupid rumors. Seriously!