Health Ministry tightens control on Fesikh factories, reiterates warning against botulism poisoning



Wed, 27 Apr 2022 - 08:21 GMT


Wed, 27 Apr 2022 - 08:21 GMT

Fesikh - file

Fesikh - file

CAIRO – 27 April 2022: A total of 27 preventive emergency rooms have been established in Cairo and other governorates in a bid to monitor consumption of the fermented mullet fish “Fesikh,” which is a traditional meal during Sham el-Nessim celebrations.


The famous traditional “Fesikh” dish can cause botulism poisoning. Every year, the Ministry of Health receives reports on citizens hospitalized during the Sham el-Nessim celebration after eating spoiled Fesikh.


Despite annual warnings by the Ministry of Health to not consume Fesikh, or avoid unsafe, poorly prepared Fesikh, many botulism cases are reported.


This year, the Ministry has warned citizens to permanently refrain from eating Fesikh on Eid al-Fitr (Breaking the Fast Feast), given the imminent danger it poses to health, which may cause death.


The Ministry of Health and Population confirmed that it has reviewed the strategic stock of “botulism” ampoules for the treatment of cases of poisoning resulting from eating Fesikh during the celebrations of Sham El-Nessim and Eid Al-Fitr, indicating that they are provided free of charge at all hospitals.


The average use of “botulism” ampoules during the Eid al-Fitr celebrations and Sham al-Naseem is from 20 to 30 injections, noting that the average use of the same injections is from 50 to 60 injections annually.


The Ministry of Health and Population clarified the distribution of all vaccines to the governorates, especially those that produce salted fish, pointing out that a warehouse was established in the Ministry to inject “botulism” besides intensified control over salted fish factories and tracking their products in the markets, especially street vendors.


The ministry added that the method of preparing fesikh is often unsafe due to the lack of salt in fesikh, while some use dead fish floating on the surface of the water after it was exposed to sunlight, began to swell, decompose, and have an unpleasant smell. They add a little salt to it and it is sold as fesikh after three or four days.


Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Population, confirmed that the rapid deployment teams were distributed in the governorates through critical and urgent care, identifying medical evacuation hospitals, raising the degree of preparedness at all hospitals in the Republic, and coordinating with the Egyptian Ambulance Authority.


He added that medicines, equipment, and medical supplies were secured and reinforced, and blood bags and their derivatives were ensured in all types of factions. 



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