Posted: May 24th, 2012 - 2:05pm Source: The Daily Star BEIRUT -- A Lebanese expatriate who is an expert on food safety hasbeen brought in from the U.S. to improve food handling processes aspart of the response to the expired goods scandal that shook thefood industry last month, revealing hundreds of tons of expiredfood. Fadi Aramouni, a professor from Kansas State University, wasbrought in by the Economy and Trade Ministry and the United NationsDevelopment Program to lead food safety training and start fieldinspection programs for the country. He led his first trainingMonday at the Financial Institute in Adlieh. UNDP Country Director Seifeldin Abbaro, General Director of theEconomy and Trade Ministry Fouad Fleifel and Institute of FinanceDirector Lamia Moubayed were also present at the first safetytraining. |
Fleifel said the training was a step that aims "to takesignificant action to ensure consumer interests and create a safeenvironment for consumers and dealers alike." The training courses would teach food safety basics such asbiological hazards of food handling, physical dangers and otherfactors that cause food to spoil or transfer disease. Currently most of the country"s food inspections are donewhen the food reaches the buyer, but Aramouni said he would try toimplement more inspections throughout the entire food handlingprocess. "What I want to emphasize more is U.S. FDA [Food and DrugAdministration] based prevention systems where you can go and lookat facilities, employees, warehousing, pest control and watersupply," Aramouni told The Daily Star.
"We are going totry and do onsite inspections of food establishments, whether foodprocessing or food services, and see how they implement thosesystems." Over the past several months 500 tons of spoiled food and 300 tonsof expired drugs were discovered in the country. Much of the foodwas expired meat that was being resold to customers. The discoveryhas created a sense of distrust of meat safety for many in thecountry and could have a negative effect on tourism. The Tourism Ministry in particular is trying to boost thecountry"s reputation for food handling before the the summerseason picks up.
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