The Food and Environment Central Laboratory of Ajman Municipality has found that a large quantity of imported frozen seafood from Asian countries which have come through Ajman and other ports in the country, are unfit for human consumption.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Sun 29 Jan 2006, 12:37 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:25 PM

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Dr Sir Al Khatim Al Hardalo, Director General of the laboratory said that analysis of samples of various frozen seafood revealed that these food items are rotten, have exceeded their expiry dates and were re-frozen thereby losing their nutritive value.

The laboratory had rejected the seafood samples, which did not conform to the specifications laid down by the UAE and other Gulf countries, he said.

He pointed out that the laboratory also yesterday rejected the imports of dry fruit samples found to contain poisonous fungi after being tested in the Ajman central laboratory. The high percentage of the fungi in these dry fruits was caused due to long periods of improper storage.

Dr Al Hardalo added that the food and environment monitoring section at the laboratory are making great efforts in carrying out comprehensive inspection campaigns in the food markets in the emirate. These campaigns are targeting the food that contain red colouring agent, which poses serious health hazards to public. The artificial red colour (E 124) often used in the pasta, pickles and juices and various kinds of food items is widely banned because of its negative health impact, as it causes heart failure, he disclosed.

“Earlier Ajman Municipality had withdrawn large quantity of pasta which was deemed unfit for human consumption and the manufacturers were banned from making it,'' he said,

According to Dr. Hardalo, the manufacturers tend to use colours in food items to cover the defects in the product caused by manufacturing mistake, citing the example of the tomato sauce which was found in the market recently and the laboratory tests found that an intense red colour was used to cover up for the improper manufacturing of the sauce.

He also pointed out to some types of pickles, which are found to be containing unhealthy colours, which are never used in food manufacturing process “but unfortunately food manufacturers use them to make their products look attractive for consumers to buy.”

The municipality, he stressed, is keeping a strict control on such malpractices and contains them by carrying out regular and surprise food inspection campaigns. “These campaigns aim at ensuring a safe food market. The elimination of the sources of unfit, harmful and low quality food is a top priority for us,” Dr Al Hardalo said.

Food inspectors monitor the violations of food production norms and sale, classify these violations and set performance standards to achieve more efficient inspection. The inspection visits are repeated to food outlets to keep a close watch on any malpractice and rectify the violations because they become a threat to the safety of consumers.

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