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Armed with popular and political support, Health Minister Wael Abu Faour Friday stepped up his campaign against companies selling contaminated food, demanding the closure of two restaurants and a butcher shop in Beirut accused of violating food safety.The food security scandal that jolted Lebanon this week has threatened to throw the already divided Cabinet into further disarray as the of tourism and economy ministers sharply criticized Abu Faour, arguing that his food safety campaign harmed restaurants and the country's tourism.Abu Faour also asked the Interior Ministry to close down Malek al-Batata restaurant on Hamra Street for five days for failing to fulfill food safety standards and general hygiene.The request to the Interior Ministry came after Abu Faour defended himself against criticism over the food scandal that broke out Tuesday when the minister read the names of 37 restaurants and supermarkets found to be selling contaminated food."Some people turned this campaign from one to reveal the truth and corruption into a defamation campaign by some shop owners and politicians who sympathize with them," Abu Faour said.He vowed to continue the campaign against contaminated food in all Lebanese areas and urged big restaurants to cooperate with the Health Ministry.
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