People buy traditional sweets for children to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Mohamed, also known as “Mawlid al Nabi”, which will fall next week, in a makeshift tent in Cairo, December 30, 2014. (Photo by Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters)
CAIRO – 20 November 2017: The Ministry of Health and Population announced that four tons and 838 kilograms of inedible candy manufactured for the celebrations of Prophet Mohamed’s birthday on November 27 were discarded because they were unsuitable for human consumption.
The Health Ministry conducted wide inspection campaigns in factories and dessert shops that manufacture such sweets from November 11 to 16. The inspection was carried out in supply and sale venues all over the country's governorates as well.
Maysa Hamza, director of the General Directorate of Food Control, said that a leaflet was issued to all directorates of health affairs all over the country to intensify their monitoring and inspection campaigns in order to supervise all stages of manufacturing, storage, supply and circulation of these sweets.
Hamza pointed out that the inspection campaigns covered 1,724 food facilities that produce and sell such sweets.
"During these campaigns, three tons and 204 kilograms of sweets were seized to inspect their validity. Other 3,451 samples were sent to the Health Ministry's laboratories for analysis in order to ensure their safety in terms of pigments and raw materials and to guarantee their safety and validity for human consumption as well as their conformity with Egyptian standards," said Hamza.
On the other hand, Khaled Megahed, official spokesman of the Ministry of Health and Population, stated that 1,674 violation reports and closure orders for 219 facilities for failing to meet health requirements were issued. He stressed on the necessity of food workers’ commitments to applying and monitoring all health standards while manufacturing such goods.
"All manufacturing establishments must comply with the necessary health requirements," said Megahed.
The ministry affirms its continuous monitoring of food safety and that it is taking all legal measures against violators. The ministry also calls on citizens to avoid buying products of unknown origins.
The Mawlid al-Nabawi is a joyous occasion for Muslims, especially Sufis, who gather at Egypt’s famous mosques to make “dhikr” (remembrance of God) and to praise Prophet Mohamed, celebrating the birth and life of the “Best of Creation”, as he is known.
Egypt’s streets become festive with lights and music, while children enjoy the sweets and toys sold by various vendors. There will also be special events held around this time.
Religious Song Ensemble, conducted by Omar Farahat, will hold a concert in Cairo Opera House on Thursday, November 23 at 8 p.m. to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Prophet Mohamed. The band will perform religious songs and hymns, in addition to some Sufi poems.