Pizza Hut company officials enroute to Lebanon after local warehouse controversy

The Minister of Health advises all those concerned with food and its packaging to "fully abide by Lebanese laws."

4 May 2017 | 15:33

Source: Annahar

  • By Nour Ghoussaini
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 4 May 2017 | 15:33

The interior of Pizza Hut's Keserwan wharehouse (Annahar)

BEIRUT: US officials of the Pizza Hut company are coming to Lebanon to handle the issue of expired foods in a local company warehouse that was closed by the government.

Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of Yum Brands, which also owns the KFC company.

Health Ministry inspectors sealed Tuesday a warehouse belonging to Pizza Hut restaurants in Jounieh, Keserwan, after finding more than two tons of expired food ranging from ketchup, mayonnaise and yeast to flour, in addition to the existence of improperly stored materials such as olives.

The Minister of Health, Ghassan Hassbani, said in a statement that, “the inspecting team found that there was no official document issued by the Ministry of Finance or the Ministry of Economy to dispose of these products."

Warehouse officials said they had contacted the Ministry of Economy a week ago for this purpose. However, the minister said health inspectors from the ministry found that some items had expired since 2012 and were yet to be disposed of.

The supervisor of the warehouse tried to convince the inspecting team that the warehouse shouldn’t be closed because the expired products were not intended for food preparation but rather to be disposed of.

A source at Pizza Hut told Annahar that “the aim behind what happened is harming the restaurant’s name and reputation since the items found were not being used.”

The source denied the existence of any material dating to 2012, but only to June of 2016.

Pizza Hut management refused to give Annahar any statement before the arrival of a delegation from the restaurant's headquarters in the United States to investigate the incident and check internal reports.

Yet the source at the company explained that "the inspection might take some time due to the presence of numerous Pizza Hut branches inside Lebanon."

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