Tag Archives | food safety

Real list of Lebanese establishments fined for food safety

LBCI published today a list of Lebanese supermarkets and restaurants that were fined for dealing with expired and rotten food.

The only name I was shocked to see making such list is Kababji, I mean that’s the least you expect when you pay 7,000L.L for a tinly sandwich of grilled meat!

Although this list dates back to 2011, I’m guessing it might relate a bit to the recently confiscated amounts of rotten meat by the authorities, but unfortunately it is limited to the Metn area only (assuming by the header of the document).

What’s surprising though is how low the fines are, notice how some of them were reduced from 25,000,000L.L to 500,000L.L, even for big names like TSC.

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Rotten meat at TSC Supermarket (City Mall)

Having TSC Dora (located inside City Mall) very close to my workplace, I got used to passing by it on my way back home to buy my groceries and take advantage of the crazy offers they do every now and then.

Few weeks ago I wanted to buy some entrecote steak, so I went there and just asked one of the butchers for what I wanted. He proceeded with picking one of the vacuum packages, opening it, and cutting the meat on one of the table, but just as he started working with the meat he grabbed a large portion of it, smelled its odor and directly threw away the whole package. I immediately concluded that the meat must have been rotten from the expression on his face, still I made sure to ask him as he approached the refrigerator to pick another package and he confirmed the meat was bad.


The meat refrigerator at TSC Dora

I disregarded what happened and said to myself it might happen anywhere… but I got really surprised when the same thing happened when he picked the second package and threw it away, and AGAIN with a third package! As he picked the fourth one, he opened it right in front of me, smelled it and said “This one is OK”, but I insisted to check its odor by myself, and turned out it was really ok. I was a bit hesitant about continuing to buy the meat, but then just told him to proceed and give me 2 Kilos. Note that the packages were all refrigerated and had the very same color.

Few days ago, I went to get some rib cutlets, and that’s when I got shocked. As usual after getting my order, the butcher proceeded to pick one of the packages and went to his table. He opened the bag, and this time directly smelled the meat and threw it away!!! He approached the refrigerator and picked another package without giving me any explanation, so I just called him and told him to disregard my order. I wasn’t ready to risk my health again!

The first time it happened I just assumed it might be a bad coincidence, but turned out it’s a recurring thing at TSC! And by observing how the butchers were behaving, it seemed like they’re very used to encountering rotten meat while working.

And I’m not the only one who’s complaining about it, I did a quick search on Google for reviews on the meat at TSC, and found that the same thing happened to Samer almost 2 years ago. The funniest thing about his experience was when the customer service personnel told him he’s ready to cook the meat and eat it as a proof that it doesn’t cause any harm!

Needless to say this is so wrong on all levels, and I hope the people in charge at TSC can read this post or Samer’s to implement the necessary controls on their meat before making it to the shelves for people to buy.

My experience probably poses the issue of food safety in Lebanon in general and not at TSC only. I happened to be one of their regular customers, but the same thing might be happening at Spinney’s, Le Charcutier Aoun, Abi Khalil, COOP… or any other place! Which is scary indeed…

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