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New measures to ensure safety and quality standards of Lebanese food products namely “Labneh”

15-4-2014

The issue of the commitment of the food industry to quality and safety standards remains in discussion especially following the waves created by the usage of Natamycin in some Labneh products.  The Minister of Industry, Hussein Hajj Hassan, had reiterated the importance of Labneh as a special Lebanese food product and confirmed that the aim of the state is to correct wrongs and not close any factory.  He noted that the role of the state is to monitor, control and regulate and not to denigrate as this is not suitable for the economy or the industry.  Hajj Hassan was speaking at a meeting convened yesterday to follow up the steps and actions taken to ensure safety and quality of food products.  The meeting was attended by the Director Generals of the Ministries of Industry, Agriculture, and Economy and Trade in addition to representatives of the Ministry of Public Health and the Centre of Industrial Research as well as supermarket owners and the Lebanese Dairy Council and dairy producers.
Hajj Hassan said that Labneh requires special care during the production cycle including packaging, warehousing and distribution in addition to the need for maintaining specific standards in the cold chain.  He highlighted that the role of the Ministry of Industry and of the Industrialists Union is confined to what enter and what leaves the factory/production unit.  Traders are responsible for maintaining the cold chain.  He asked that Industrialists show a clear reference on the cold temperature required on their product and so as to relieve themselves of responsibility related to warehousing by commercial institutions.
Source: Al-Safir 15 April 2014

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