Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Unified system to be in place to investigate food poisoning cases

The Gulf Today, 1 March 2010

A unified system will be implemented to investigate food poisoning cases in Dubai as part of the strategic plans of the civic body to achieve maximum food safety standards in the emirate.
Khalid Sharif Al Awadi, Director of Food Control Department at Dubai Municipality (DM), said a preparatory committee will be established with the participation of all the concerned bodies.
“Initially, the committee will be under the supervision of the Food Safety Committee in the Ministry of Environment (MOEW),” he added.
According to him, the significant links between food and public health have been highlighted across the world, along with calls to set up an international framework to ensure the safety of food items and prevent emergence of food poisoning incidents.
“The municipality is working on achieving the recommendations of the recently held Dubai International Food Safety Conference. The recommendations included activating the role of consumers to enable them maintain food safety standards,” pointed out Al Awadhi.
”The category of small consumers will be particularly focused and educated through scientific programmes according to their age groups, and will be given lessons on joint responsibility for food safety,” he said.
According to Al Awadhi, food inspection staff at the federal level will be given training and knowledge.
”The implementation will be supported by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation, speeding up the process of preparing new specifications and upgrading old measures. The methods will reduce the procedures for the approval of the adoption of food standards,” he said.
He explained that the new measures will increase the effectiveness of existing government food laboratories through the provision of qualified scientific cadres. Specialised analytical equipment will be provided to keep pace with developments in the international specifications and to ensure readiness for analysis of emergency,” he explained.
Al Awadhi noted that the recommendations called for coordination with the various food control bodies in the countries of origin to activate the certification by the approved bodies of these countries to give more confidence in the imported products.
"The conference urged to ease the inspection process of the food control bodies in the country and adopt a uniform system of classification and registration of food and food cards in the country so as to prevent duplication and to tighten control on the food imported through the border,” he added.

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