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Residents fear, safety of food items in groceries

Afkar Abdullah and
Ahmed Al Majaida / 27 May 2010

Residents of Sharjah are concerned about buying food products from supermarkets and groceries located in residential areas, fearing food poisoning after the 2 day power outage.

Many supermarkets and groceries got rid of large quantity of food items which were spoilt. The wasted food items include dairy products, juices and meat products, which need cooling systems.

Residents urged the municipality to control sale of rotten food in the small groceries which were affected by the power outage.

Owners of groceries and supermarkets urged the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) to solve the power issue permanently, as they had a lot of food wastage which had caused them huge losses.

Sultan Al Mulla, Director-General of the Sharjah Municipality, told Khaleej Times on Thursday that during power outage, the municipality intensified its inspections of supermarkets and groceries located in the affected areas.

Inspectors were working hard to make sure outlets abide by the municipality’s health regulations.

“The municipality gives priority to public health and will not tolerate those who are found endangering consumer health to make profits.

“Lack of power for more than one hour would cause spoilage to many food items. For example, the inspectors forced supermarkets in industrial areas to get rid of a large quantity of ice cream, fruits and yoghurt.”

Al Mulla added that the municipality imposes tough penalties for violators ranging from hefty fines to closure of the premises.

Ahmed Ali, a resident of Al Khan area, said he depended on the grocery in his building to buy items like milk and juices. “With power disconnections for hours, I feared to buy any type of food items to protect my children’s health.”

But groceries in the industrial areas claimed their food products were not damaged, but sales were down during the outage.

A salesman at Athenar Ibrahim grocery in the industrial area, said, “Nothing has happened to our food, as the power cut lasted not more than three hours, but sales were stopped as people couldn’t see the products on the shelves.”

Nasser of Bab Al Tabana grocery in Maliha said their products were fine. “It was only for a short time, and we hope we won’t face it for longer periods, as it might cause serious damage.”

“Food will get rotten if refrigerators don’t work. Power cut for three hours or less is not a big problem. We handled the problem well,” said salesman of Azerbaijan grocery next toNational Paints.

Power to most areas restored

SHARJAH — Residents of Sharjah heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday as power was restored  to 95 per cent of the affected areas, except in some parts in industrial areas.

The areas most affected during the last two days were Rolla, Al Tawuun, Al Majaz, Jamal Abdul Nasser Road, Abu Shagara, King Faisal Street, Al Qasimia, Al Yarmouk, Al Khizamia, and Industrial Areas 1, 2, 3, 6, 10 and 13. An engineer at the Control Section of the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) said the power outage was caused due to a major breakdown in a unit of the main power plant in Sharjah.

He said a team of engineers worked hard to fix the fault and restore power supply.

Priority was given to residential areas with families and children and then to industrial and commercial areas. The official said the network was being monitored continuously for efficiency and to ensure that breakdowns do not recur.

news@khaleejtimes.com

 
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