Sale of snacks outside food outlets barred during Ramadan

DUBAI — The Dubai Municipality (DM) has prohibited the display and sale of snacks outside food establishments during Ramadan without prior permission from the Food Control Department.

The civic body has issued a circular to restaurants, cafeterias, catering companies, bakeries and sweet shops directing them to obtain the special permit for displaying snacks outside their premises and abide by the health and safety requirements to ensure safety of food offered in the holy month.

Jassem Mohammed Ahmed, head of the Food Inspection Unit in Bur Dubai, told Khaleej Times that the circular was issued in four languages — Arabic, English, Urdu and Malayalam — to ensure that the message reaches as many as possible. “Food outlets are not allowed to display and sell snacks outside their premises without this special permit,” he asserted. The special permits are issued only to those abiding by the health requirements stipulated by DM. Food establishments are advised to adhere to all hygiene requirements during the sale and display of Ramadan delicacies.

“All snack foods should be displayed in food cabinets especially prepared to protect them. The food should be displayed at clean places away from external contaminants,” said the DM circular. Though shops can display food outside their premises, they are not allowed to prepare, cook or re-heat food outside their establishments.

“We are advising people to buy food within two hours prior to Iftar because that is the time allowed to display and sell these food items,” said Ahmed. Eateries have been advised to finish cooking in a maximum of two hours before selling it and not to display or sell them more than two hours before Iftar. Also, no Ramadan delicacies should be displayed or sold outside their premises after Iftar time. —

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