The Chairman of Amman Chamber of Commerce said on Monday that the rotten chicken, which poisoned hundreds of citizens in Jordan’s Ein al-Basha neighborhood and Balqa Governorate, came from a local source.
Khalil al-Haj Tawfiq, who is also president of the Foodstuff Traders Association (FTA), told Asharq Al-Awsat that the chicken seized in a warehouse in Ein al-Basha was brought from a large local poultry plant.
He denied news on the chicken being imported from Ukraine as some had claimed.
Known for his opposition to the government’s policies, Tawfiq affirmed that police have arrested and the owner of the food warehouse, which is a major supplier to a number of restaurants in Balqa and Sweileh regions.
Tawfiq noted that the owner had signed contracts with a local poultry factory and did not purchase any imported chicken.
He stressed that “the judiciary will determine the cause of poisoning, source of the defect and negligence, and the circumstances that led to the chicken rotting.”
Prime Minister Omar Razzaz decided on Monday to form a team headed by Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Muhyieddeen Touq to figure the reason behind the poisoning incident and carry out a probe to check the validity of foodstuffs in warehouses, means of storage, and other issues.
The team includes Minister of Water and Irrigation, Minister of Justice, President of Jordan University of Science and Technology, and Vice President of the Royal Scientific Society.
According to an official statement published by Petra news agency, Razzaz instructed the team to use all the powers given in accordance with laws and provisions and the necessary institutions and figures to outline responsibilities and figure out what went wrong and hold those responsible from the public and private sectors.
He set a two-week deadline for the team to complete the tasks assigned to it.
A probe into a mass food poisoning incident, which led to the admission of hundreds of citizens to hospitals in Jordan, has revealed a food corruption case for a major supplier of meat and food supplies to restaurants in Balqa Governorate, northwestern Amman.
Jordanian authorities have suspended the work of 74 food establishments in the process of investigating with them and shut down 23 others before referring their owners to the Public Prosecution.
They also issued 300 warnings and formed a crisis cell to follow up the case. The outbreak of food poisoning has been linked to a shawarma restaurant (Getty Images)