The official authorities in Tripoli, represented by the Municipal Guard and Environmental Sanitation Tripoli and Abu Salim, and the Internal Security Agency, with the support of the Food and Drug Control Centre (FDCC), destroyed an estimated 62,000 kilograms of red and white onions deemed unfit for human consumption originating from Egypt.
Speaking exclusively to Libya Herald, the Director of the Environmental Sanitation Department at the Ministry of Local Government, Ibrahim Masoud Ben Dakhil, said that, based on the instructions of the head of the Prosecution Office, the head of the committee assigned by the Director of the Environmental Sanitation Affairs Directorate, Tripoli, followed up the onion campaign by going to the Janzour vegetable market under the supervision of various agencies and battalions.
There, about 62,000 tons of spoilt Egyptian onions (black fungus) unfit for human consumption were seized. He added that the onions were smuggled and sold and traded surreptitiously.
Ben Dakhil added that the entire quantity was destroyed, and legal measures were taken against the violating merchants who deliberately committed these infringements and abuses, knowing in advance that these onions are unsuitable for human use and can cause various diseases if consumed.
Inspection tours will continue
He pointed out the continuation of the inspection campaigns that target fruit and vegetable markets, and that the inspectors of the Department of Environmental Sanitation Affairs in various cities will make inspection tours to assess the status of vegetables and fruits and the extent to which they conform to the specifications that must be met for human consumption.
Importers must inspect onions for signs
Ben Dakhil said the most important conditions that onion importers must consider are making sure that onions are free from any agricultural pests and of plant residues and pesticide residues. A careful external examination of the onion must be made, he added
Exporters must provide certification
In addition, the exporter must submit to the importer a certificate from the competent authority in the country of origin to the agricultural quarantine stating that the onions are free of onion smut fungus.
It is mentioned that earlier, the competent authorities destroyed 30,000 kilos of onions in Janzour vegetable market imported from Egypt showing signs of degradation, with the presence of rotting and multiplication of black fungus, and germination of the vegetative part.
The Food and Drug Control Centre confirms entry of onions unfit for human consumption from Egypt (libyaherald.com)