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Monday, October 11, 2010

143 tonnes of food items rejected in Abu Dhabi

By PMA RASHEED
11 Oct 2010, The Gulf Today

The import of about 143 tonnes of food materials has been rejected in Abu Dhabi during the current year, according to the capital’s food safety watchdog.
Sources at the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) told The Gulf Today that the food items were impounded at the border crossing points for not complying with the applied food safety standards and specifications.
Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Service at the ADFCA, said, “The establishments that imported the food items have been enforced to return the consignments to their countries of origin.”
“The rejection of the food materials came due to a number of violations, including non-certification for being free from pesticide residues, lack of proper licensing for import and non-adherence to other food safety regulations,” he added.
“Some food products were found contaminated with coli form bacteria, while other items didn’t have public health safety certificates from the authorities of the exporting countries. Some importers breached conditions for transporting food items,” he pointed out.
According to Al Reyaysa, this is very important step in the ADFCA’s efforts at ensuring maximum food safety to the residents of the emirate.
“The actions against the law-breakers have been taken in collaboration with other authorities concerned manning the border points,” he noted.
Looking at the food safety violations by the food service establishments in Abu Dhabi, the ADFCA sources revealed that restaurants figured on top of the complaints received by the Authority.
“The violations by the restaurants constituted 54 per cent of all the grievances during the first half of 2010, followed by cafeterias with 27 per cent, bakeries and confectionaries with 15 per cent and caterers with 4 per cent,” read an AFDCA statement issued to The Gulf Today.
According to it, the main unit at the ADFCA for supplies conducted a study of all the complaints it received in the first half of the year and continued the efforts during the second half as well.
“In comparison to the first half of the year, complaints about insects rose from 19 per cent to 32 per cent in the second half. This is attributable to not using approved companies for insecticide and the onset of summer. Complaints about bad hygienic conditions dropped in the second half, from 19 per cent to 8 per cent,” elaborated the statement.
“Complaints about unhealthy practices also dropped from 21 per cent in the first half to 13 per cent in the second. A number of factors could explain these changes, including intensified inspections on food outlets, proper redress of the grievances received in the first half and other measures from the ADFCA,” it added.
(Pic used for illustrative purpose only)

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