Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Food safety violations decrease by 12% in Dubai

The Gulf Today, 1 Feb 2010

At least 199 restaurants and other food service establishments in Dubai have been shut down by the Municipal authorities during the last year 2009.
The actions against violating restaurants have been undertaken aimed at raising the food service establishments to the highest level of public health and technical standards, says a senior civic body member.
Meanwhile, the rate of total food safety violations and irregularities at food service establishments in the emirate has come down by 12 percent last year with 14228 reported offences, compared to the previous year’s 19,062 recorded cases.
Ahmed Abdel Rahman Al-Ali, Head of Food Inspections of the Food Control Department at Dubai Municipality (DM), said that fines were imposed on about 7861 offences last year, a decrease from 9865 fine cases occurred in 2008.
“The number of violations that occurred in the food establishments in the emirate has amounted at 14228 violations during the past year, compared to the 19,062 offenses in the year 2008,” he added.
According to him, the decline has been considered as a reflection of the modernisation of procedures and technical assessment methods implanted by the DM’s inspection department in handling food safety measures.
“At least 22,507 routine field visits have been carried out by DM’s team of food inspectors during the last year, compared to the previous year’s 23457 visits. The officers carry out 30 to 35 visits per week, taking into account the regulatory requirements health safety measures abided by the restaurants,” Al-Ali pointed out.
He said that lack of workers’ occupational health cards, unhygienic practices and presence of insects and rodents, and unscientific food storage methods are the common detected violations at most of the food service establishments.
“Meanwhile, the high-risk violations include food storage in unsafe places where the food could be subject to pollution and serious contamination due to insufficient spaces or mix of different variety of prepared food items,” he added.
“Inefficient conservation food items, in violation of specific norms on implementing necessary equipments to keep particular foods in appropriate hot or cold conditions as required,” he noted.

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