Dubai fights Covid: 53 eateries shut down in three months for safety violations

Dubai - Failure to wear masks and adhere to social distancing rules top list of offences.



by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 19 Apr 2021, 8:39 AM

Last updated: Mon 19 Apr 2021, 8:44 AM

A total of 53 food outlets were shut down by the Dubai Municipality in the first quarter of 2021 for violating Covid-19 protocols, civic authorities announced on Sunday.

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Sultan Al Taher, the head of the food inspection section at the Dubai Municipality, said 13,775 field visits to eateries were conducted between January and March.

“A total of 12,438 outlets were found to be compliant with food safety precautionary measures enforced by the civic authorities in the first quarter,” he said.

Data showed that 53 and 1,133 food outlets were closed, and warning notices served, respectively, this year.

“The most prominent violations that were detected were failure to adhere to social distancing norms, and non-compliance with wearing personal safety equipment such as masks and gloves during food preparation, and non-use of approved sterilisation and disinfection materials,” Al Taher said.

“The civic inspectors conducted checks and, on a daily basis, kept a tab on workers’ personal hygiene and sterilisation and disinfection operations,” he added.

The inspectors checked food safety requirements were applied while receiving food items, cooking, and storage. Display of body temperatures, and the application of personal hygiene and sterilisation procedures were looked into to prevent cross-contamination. Pest control operations were also inspected.

The officials have been carrying out several routine inspection visits on the basis of the reports received from consumers. Fines have been levied on violators.

Inspection campaigns are being carried out during Ramadan in a bid to ensure that food establishments meet the requirements for transporting, storing, preparing and displaying food products and materials, Al Taher said.

The Dubai government authorities have intensified inspections at locations frequented by the public since the contagion struck the emirate in March last year.

Last week, authorities removed permit requirements, which used to cost Dh5,000, to serve food during fasting hours of the holy month of Ramadan that started on April 13.

They stated that there would be no need for food outlets to place screens to cover dining areas during fasting hours.

The path-breaking reforms were welcomed by cafes and restaurants, which were among the most severely hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


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