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Lebanon crisis

Lebanon sees rise in food poisoning cases amid power cuts, pollutants: Reports

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Cases of food poisoning in Lebanon have been rising at a disturbing rate compared to the past several years as the country experiences continued power cuts during the hot summer months, according to several media reports.

“The constant power outages during the current very hot summer have made food stored in fridges and freezers in both restaurants and homes very susceptible to getting spoiled. Meat and chicken are being frozen for very long periods of time and stored even after they expire only to be sold later as “fresh” in an attempt to save money on fresh meat,” wrote Jad El Dilati for The961.

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Power cuts have been common in Lebanon ever since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war, forcing Lebanese to pay a second power bill to private generators for three to 12 hours each day during the outages.

In the past year, Lebanon has plunged into political and financial crisis and on Monday newly designated prime minister Najib Mikati said there was no chance of a cabinet lineup by mid-week to coincide with the anniversary.

“Do not eat outside. I repeat DO NOT EAT OUTSIDE! If you do, choose the place wisely!! My family and I are eating home made food, yet we’re having diarrhea, major stomach pains, and muscle ache. Be careful!” Twitter user Nour (@NourH92) tweeted earlier on Saturday.

The rates of food poisoning has been increasing at an alarming rate that the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International, widely known as LBCI, released a report during the weekend titled “What to do to avoid food poisoning.”

“Universal truths in Lebanon right now 1) You've had serious food poisoning/ stomach flu in the last month 2) You feel like a zombie from sleep deprivation 3) if you have a fridge it's empty or 90% of the contents have gone off 4) Any medicine-even ibuprofen-is a sacred possession,” Bel Trew, the Middle East correspondent for The Independent based in Lebanon, tweeted.

(With inputs from AFP and Reuters)

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