A 'hot' move turns cold!

ABU DHABI - For small shawarma outlets in the capital who shifted their grill into the restaurant following orders from the authorities, it may well be a case worse than "from the frying pan into the fire." They may be forced to remove shawarma altogether from their menu.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 15 Aug 2005, 11:04 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:13 PM

The authorities have found that the shifting of shawarma grills inside small restaurants was a "hot" move, in that it made the outlets uncomfortable with the heat produced from the grills making the atmosphere inside stifling.

Sources said the Food Inspection arm of Abu Dhabi Municipality was considering a proposal to have shawarma equipment removed from small outlets "that lack health and professional standards". Since August 2, the Food Inspection Authority have covered 186 restaurants.

"We invested a lot of money in making alterations to the outlet and even buy new equipment and connections. Now, it appears we will have to take shawarma off the menus altogether. I think if that happens, we will have to discuss the matter further with the authorities. Taking shawarma off the menu will mean financial disaster for us," said an employee at a small shawarma outlet on Hamdan Street.

During the campaign, shawarma outlets ordered to close for

failure to move their equipment inside the confines of their shops,

re-opened after meeting the requirements of health and civic

authorities. The orders came into effect on July 31. A total of 69 outlets were closed. However, some shops returned to normal business after a day or two, having made arrangements that were in line with the order.

But small outlets, many of which are located in heavily populated areas, now face new problems, with the threat of the delicacy being removed off their menus looming large.

Outlet owners earlier objected to the rule that shops selling shawarma and Arabic style of fast food must move their equipment inside the limits of their shops or face closure. Shawarma traditionally was served out in the open, they argued. Some pointed out their outlets were too small and the temperature would be extremely high if they move the equipment inside the shop.

The said the heat from the shawarma grills run on cooking gas coupled with the little space inside restaurants had forced them to keep the equipment outside. Officials, however, argued that this exposed the food to pollution. Fast food other than shawarma sold at these outlets include falafel and fried vegetables like eggplant, cauliflower and light snacks.

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