Raw hamburger Kibbeh banned in Windsor Lebanese restaurants
Posted: June 27th, 2012 - 8:19pm by Doug Powell
Kibbeh – a Lebanese dish made from raw hamburger – is off the menus in Windsor, Ontario (that’s in Canada).
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit inspectors are forcing Lebanese restaurants to pull product after a report of contaminated raw kibbeh in Ottawa late last year has health inspectors taking a tougher stand. Restaurant owners say the sudden crackdown is costing them sales and upsetting longtime customers.
"No warning, no heads up, nothing. They just told us you can't sell it anymore," said Mohamad Nizam, who's owned and operated Al-Sabeel restaurant at 1129 Wyandotte St. E., for seven years. "They didn't send us any letters."
Nizam and other restaurant owners expressed pride in their raw kibbeh, which they say is popular with customers of all backgrounds.
Many came specifically for his recipe, which he makes with fresh ground beef and a special recipe of seasonings, Nizam said. Raw kibbeh can also be made with fresh ground lamb and ingredients such as bulgur wheat.
Provincial regulations require ground meat cooked to an internal temperature of at least 71 C for at least 15 seconds.
Tudor said raw fish can be served for sushi because freezing is required at some point to eliminate parasites associated with fish.
Abbas and Tannous at El-Mayor say they've never experienced food safety issues with raw kibbeh.
"A lot of customers have Lebanese background and they have been raised on raw meat," Tannous said.
And a lot of people get sick from raw meat.