200 tons of spoiled salted fish seized before spring celebrations
Salted fish - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Some 200 tons of spoiled traditional salted fish were seized by the Ministry of Supply at markets in various governorates hours before spring celebrations begin in Egypt Monday, Youm7 reported.

A major campaign was launched by the ministry to check the validity of the traditionally prepared fish in markets, before the traditional spring holiday of Sham el-Nessim (translating to “smell the breeze,”) which has been celebrated since ancient times in Egypt, and is now observed the Monday after Coptic Easter.

Fermented salty fish called fesikh and a smoked herring called ringa paired with raw onion, lettuce and bread are the traditional meal on the holiday.

The Ministry of Health has previously advised citizens last week against eating fesikh due to “unsafe” preparation which can cause the finished product to contain botulism, which can cause paralysis or death if ingested.

Fesikh is traditionally prepared by letting the raw fish dry in the sun, after which it is cured in salt.

Despite annual warnings and food poisoning stories in the news, the fragrant dish is considered an indispensable part of the celebrations.

Additional reporting by Mahmoud Abdel Rady.

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