Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New food safety law on the anvil

The Gulf Today, 23 Feb 2010

Over 90 per cent of the foodstuff, worth four billion US dollars, consumed in the UAE is imported from around 230 countries from across the world, according to a senior civic body official.
Khalid Mohammed Sharif, Director of Food Control Department at the DM said that the strategic objectives of Dubai Food Control for 2007-11 included rising the percentage of foodstuff establishments that comply with the hygiene rules to 97 per cent and reducing the percentage of non-complying samples of foodstuff and drinking water to 5 per cent.
He was speaking at the fifth edition of Dubai International Food Safety Conference that opened on Monday at the Dubai Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The Chairman of the DIFSC 2010 Organising Committee talked on "Leading change in Food Safety" at the conference.
According to him, the Dubai Municipality aims to provide 100 per cent e-services and raise the percentage of employees trained in hygiene to 90 per cent."The food control department of the civic body will also unify procedures at the local level and have a unified manual for foodstuff import and export," Sharif said.
Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality said that the civic body is drafting strategic plans for highest standards of food safety practices this year.
"The food-borne diseases investigation and surveillance system of the civic body is being empowered with innovative programmes focusing on specific industries such as dairy, meat and poultry, water, and food service industry," he added.
Lootah said that the initiative is in tandem with the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC), in collaboration with the FAO and the WHO.
"The food safety measures in the region will be further boosted with the new inspection systems into food poisoning incidences, stricter legislations education on food safety culture," he noted.
Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, the UAE Minister of Environment and Water, said that the ministry has recently established a department specialising in food safety.

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