Sunday, June 6, 2010

59 errant eateries shut down in Dubai

The Gulf Today, 6 June 2010

Fifty nine restaurants, cafeterias and other food outlets have been temporarily closed down in Dubai for violation of civic regulations, as food inspectors at Dubai Municipality (DM) have carried out as many as 15,200 inspection visits in the first half of the current year.
The overall inspections this year so far have reached 31 312, including routine and follow-up visits, according to a senior DM official.
Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Ali, Head of Food Inspection at the DM said, numerous visits by a team of 10 inspectors have been carried out in order to survey the accurate number of food service establishments currently operational in each region of the emirate, and verify they are adhering to the required municipal conditions.
“Among the violations, the most common irregularity was lack of health cards for workers at the food establishments. Personal hygiene of the employees, including dirty dressing and appearance, was also subjected to the offenses,” he added.
“Punitive actions have been imposed by the inspections, in cases of unhygienic atmosphere, use of rotten, contaminated and expired food items and even presence of insects and rodents in some food outlets,” pointed out Al Ali.
“The breaches, causing risks to the public health safety, also included improper conservation of cooked dishes and storing them in places where the food may be contaminated or spoiled,” he said.
According to him, the civic body received 1,224 complaints from customers about unhygienic situations at many restaurants and cafeterias in the emirate.
He noted, “The food inspection department of the Municipality has planned to strengthen its strategies for ensuring the adherence of food and public health safety measures by the food service establishments in the emirate.”
“As the hot weather conditions have already taken hold, the vigilance by the food safety officials has been tightened to avoid risks of food poisoning cases that may be increased due to the storage of foodstuff in high temperatures,” Al Ali said.
“The food safety chiefs in all emirates have called for increased vigilance on food poisoning outbreaks, as well as conducting educational campaigns for residents to raise awareness about the dangers of poor food storage and transportation,” he added.

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