MIQ meals 'not fit for human consumption'

One of the frozen kosher meals Ilan Paz has received in Christchurch MIQ. Photo: Supplied via NZ...
One of the frozen kosher meals Ilan Paz has received in Christchurch MIQ. Photo: Supplied via NZ Herald
A man staying in MIQ in Christchurch says the kosher meals he is being sent frozen from Auckland are "not fit for human consumption".

Ilan Paz told The New Zealand Herald he has lived in New Zealand for the last 42 years but spent the last two and a-half months in Israel with relatives.

He arrived at the Sudima Christchurch Airport MIQ facility on Monday after informing authorities of his dietary requirement before initially leaving the country.

The kosher diet, based on the Jewish faith, requires meat and dairy to be kept separate and for animals to be killed in a certain way before eating.

Meat from pigs and rabbits, as well as seafood that does not have fins or scales, are among the foods that are not permitted.

On arrival at the hotel, Paz said he was handed a bag with a sandwich in it by a staff member at the front desk.

"I told her I asked for kosher, she opens her phone and said it's chicken, it's fine. I said you clearly have no idea, thank you very much and I went to my room."

Staff then tried to organise somebody to go to the supermarket to get food for Paz such as fruit and crackers, which he said was not good enough.

"Well hang on, why am I different from everybody else? Everybody gets three proper meals a day with vegetables and meat or whatever, when I have to live on crackers and bread for 14 days."

Food from the supermarket was not purchased but the next morning, Paz got a call that a frozen kosher meal had been flown from Auckland.

A microwave was provided for him to heat the meals in his room.

"I opened the box outside. It was French toast, meant to be for my lunch or breakfast. I refused to eat it.

"I just wrote on it 'not fit for human consumption' and left it outside my door."

He told the Herald other meals since the French toast delivery had been of poor quality and he refused to eat them.

Paz said he has requested a transfer to an Auckland MIQ facility so he can have better quality meals.

But he said he was told it could take up to five or seven days for his application to be looked at.

"If I have to carry on the 14 days, I'll do it. If they have to get me out of here on a stretcher, I am not eating that s*** I'm sorry.

"I am entitled to three warm meals like everybody else."

Paz said he has now gone 60 hours without eating any food.

A Managed Isolation and Quarantine spokesperson said the team at the facility in Christchurch had sought out and been given advice on how to best meet the requirements of a kosher diet.

"This has been purchased and supplied, this guest has also been supplied a microwave to heat his own food in his room, and the facility has sourced frozen meals from Auckland to meet dietary needs.

"Our facilities do all they can to make sure each and every guest enjoys their stay with them."

The spokesperson said they were working with Paz to help meet his requirements as best they can.

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