Just sick about it: Lebanese restaurants abroad told to slash raw Kibbeh off the menu
Restaurant owners in Windsor, Canada, claim that regional health authorities are cracking down on the sale of the famous Lebanese dish kibbeh nayyeh, Candian daily Metro reported Tuesday.
Mohamad Nizam, owner of Al Sabeel in Windsor, said that health inspectors from the Windsor-Essex Health Unit told him last month that he was no longer permitted to sell the dish, which is made with either raw lamb or beef combined with bulgar and a variety of spices.
“No warning, no heads up, nothing. They just told us you can’t sell it anymore. They didn’t send any letters,” Nizam told the Windsor Star, “this is not a side dish, it’s our tradition.”
Kibbeh nayyeh has been served at Lebanese restaurants in Canada for years but a report of contaminated kibbeh in Ottowa last year has resulted in a tougher stance from health inspectors
According to reports by Caadian News network CBC News Dr. Allen Heimann, a medical officer with the city of Windsor, said the raw dish was unsafe.
Heimann elaborated that Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act requires that ground meat be cooked before being served to customers, since the process of grinding meat increases the risk of it being contaminated by E.Coli and other harmful bacteria.
In early February the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported that a person contracted E.Coli after eating the Lebanese delicacy.
Kibbeh, whether in its raw or cooked form, is somewhat of a national treasure among Lebanese.
In August 2009, a group of 25 women in Ehden broke the Guinness World Record for the largest kibbeh in recorded history. The gargantuan meat feast consisted of 120 kilos of minced meat, 80 liters of olive oil, 80 kilos of cracked wheat, five kilos of salt, and a kilo of pepper in a twenty square-meter dish that weighed in at 223 kilograms.
Do you think Kibbeh nayyeh is unsafe? Tell us your thoughts below.