Lebanon’s Customs Department and the Minister of Health stormed yesterday three warehouses where they found tons of expired chicken. The packs of expired chicken were confiscated in huge amounts with expiry dating back to 2016 and some 2017, and the distribution center in question belongs to Freiha Food Company, which owns the brands Shuman Farms and Lipoul among others. This is quite shocking to say the least, as Shuman was among the best chicken brands in the market and considered a high-end one, and it’s still not clear yet if other distribution centers had expired chicken as well.
In all cases, the last thing we need at the moment from the Health Ministry and other concerned ministries and parties are press releases and media stunts, but instead they should organize a long and thorough press conference detailing how they are monitoring meat & poultry in the market, why this storage house was never monitored before, and how will they make sure this scandal does not repeat itself.
More importantly, they need to be crystal clear on which brands are impacted and inform Lebanese consumers what to buy and where from. We’re not talking here about a small distributor, but one of the largest in the country, and the responsibility falls on the authorities first and foremost for not doing their job before in the first place.
Obviously, none of the above mentioned will take place and a week from now, we will forget there was a chicken scandal and move to a new one, unless of course they need to keep the scandal going to cover up for a much bigger scandal taking place.
Let’s wait and see.