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Frozen chicken from Brazil

All shipments of meat and chicken from Brazil are being checked at Qatar’s ports to ensure their quality before they are cleared for sale, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has announced.

The move comes after evidence was found that meat-packers in Brazil had been selling rotten products for years.

Some 30 people were arrested last week, three packing plants were closed down and 21 are under investigation, according to the BBC.

Shabina S. Khatri / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Brazilian officials have stressed that these plants account for only a fraction of the industry, but many nations that import Brazilian meat and poultry products have suspended imports nonetheless.

That includes China, South Korea and the European Union.

Lab samples taken

Frozen halal chicken from Brazil is very popular in Qatar. And shoppers are sure to notice its lack of availability in the coming days and weeks.

According to an official from Qatar Foods, 90 percent of the nation’s poultry comes from the South American country.

The Peninsula reports business consultant Iqbal Vadakara as saying:

“Restriction of products from Brazil could lead to an acute shortage of poultry and meat products in the market. Almost all the major fast moving frozen chicken brands in the market are imported from Brazil.”

Once lab samples are analyzed and products are found fit for human consumption, the meat and poultry will be released, MOPH said.

Thoughts?

Note: The lead image in this article has been changed, as Sadia chicken says it was not affected by the curbs.

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

QIFF 2014

This year’s Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) has moved to a new venue, but will still retain many of its usual offerings, officials confirmed this week.

For the first time, the annual event be held at the Hotel Park on the Corniche, from March 29 to April 8.

Previously, few details were available about the upcoming event. But more information was shared by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) yesterday.

Van Darren Martinez

Qatar International Food Festival

Perhaps most importantly to some, the QTA confirmed that fireworks shows will indeed be held each night at 8pm.

There will also be food trucks and Dinner in the Sky, as well as a live cooking theater from 5pm to 9pm daily.

The new venue means parking should be a bit easier than in previous years, as there is an underground pay-for-parking garage with spaces for 2,500 vehicles onsite.

What’s different

Besides the move from the MIA Park, this year’s festival has a few other new features.

For example, Qatar’s 2017 Year of Culture partner Germany won’t have a special pavilion to itself.

Mr. Taco

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Instead, it will showcase its cuisine and entertainment at a “Cultural Zone” that includes nine other embassies, such as Ethiopia, Mexico, the Philippines, the US and Qatar, among others.

Another new addition includes a garden picnic where families can buy a basket, collect a blanket and sit on the grass to eat their meals.

Food-related movies will also be screened outdoors from 9pm to 10pm, courtesy of the Doha Film Institute and Qatar Foundation.

And as previously announced, set menus will also be on offer from March 23 to April 8. Visitors can purchase at least three items for QR59, QR99, QR139 and QR179.

Brian Candy / Doha News

2016 Qatar International Food Festival

Meanwhile, kiosks, food trucks and stalls will continue to sell small bites for QR5 to QR35 a dish.

And to avoid wastage, unsold and “untouched” food will be given to Eid Charity to distribute to those in need.

The festival will go from 2pm to 10pm on weekdays and from 2pm to 11pm on weekends until April 8.

Who’s excited? Thoughts?

MME

Seized meat

A whopping 2,500kg of meat taken from a store in the Industrial Area has been confiscated by authorities in a raid.

According to local media reports, the employees of the warehouse had been repackaging expired meat so they could continue selling it.

This is a violation of the food law, which was updated in 2014 to grant officials more power to punish outlets that store and sell food unfit for human consumption.

MME/Facebook

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Municipal inspectors have since destroyed the meat and the case has been transferred to the “concerned authorities,” the Peninsula reports.

Name and shame

The updated food law also allows the government to name and shame erring establishments. However, for now this is only in Arabic and only on the Ministry of Municipality and Environment’s website.

And authorities can now also dole out harsher penalties for restaurants and food outlets breaching health and hygiene regulations.

However, some people appear to want those penalties to get even stiffer.

MME

Rodent found in food at Colombo Restaurant

Last month for example, a Sri Lankan restaurant was closed for the maximum possible number of days (60) after serving a rodent in a meal.

News of the violation sparked an outcry among some residents who called for Colombo’s permanent closure.

Thoughts?