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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 23: As the negative effects of the spread of cholera in Lebanon continue to intensify, leaving a number of victims, the concerned Kuwaiti authorities remain on alert amid assurances there is no plan to stop flights between the two countries or ban the entry of food supplies from Lebanon, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting reliable sources from the health sector.
Sources confirmed to the daily that the local health authorities did not issue any directive to stop or suspend the import of vegetables and fruits from Lebanon, indicating the Ministry of Health announced last Thursday that it is keen on taking preventive measures and deal with any cholera case from the Lebanese State or elsewhere.
Sources indicated that teams in the Public Authority for Food and Nutrition (PAFN) work round the clock to ensure food safety and security, and enhance community nutrition, by applying policies, regulations and an effective control system in accordance with international standards and specifications.
Sources added that “all shipments of vegetables and fruits from abroad are seized upon arrival in Kuwait to take samples which are sent to the laboratory for tests. Once the test results show the items are fit for human consumption, they are released for distribution on the condition that a certificate affirming they are free of pesticide residues is attached.”
“In addition to tests in the laboratories of the Ministry of Health and PAFN, there is thorough inspection of all food shipments entering the country through land, air and sea ports — whether they are from Lebanon or elsewhere,” sources added. Sources also stressed the “importance of taking precautions in all cases by washing vegetables and fruits thoroughly before eating in order to protect public health.” Sources affirmed the strict periodic inspection and control of food products and crops from abroad to ensure safety.
Meanwhile, on its Twitter account, PAFN announced that its inspection departments in a number of governorates carried out inspection campaigns which resulted in the closure of three food establishments, issuance of citations for various violations in Mubarak Al-Kabeer Governorate, discovery of 14 violations and closure of a food facility in Hawally Governorate.