Beware of 'impure drinking water' in this emirate
Some desalination stations have proved to be flouting health rules.
Whereas most residents here are consuming desalinated water, they need to be careful about the type and validity of the water they drink and the bottles it is filled in, as some desalination stations have proved to be flouting health rules.
The bodies concerned have been alerted about a lot of impurities repetitively found in the water desalinated by some stations.
According to a senior official, the municipal inspectors of the public health department at the Ras Al Khaimah Municipality have recently nabbed nine water desalination stations across the emirate for flouting rules.
"Nine water desalination stations have violated the health standards strictly ordered by the civic body here," said Shaimaa Al Tunaiji, the acting manager of the public health department. "Impurities were found in the water they were selling to the public in sometimes unfit and expired bottles."
The department has intensified inspection campaigns against all the food and health institutions under its jurisdiction, she added. "Some of the stations fined were alerted about the same breaches before, but failed to amend their position."
All water desalination stations here were instructed to provide the best quality products to the public, Al Tunaiji underlined. "Failing to do so will be stringently dealt with."
Should any institution turn blind eyes to the rules, hefty fines and temporary or permanent closure shall be ordered, she warned. "The department instantly responds to any report or complaint received from the public."
Al Tunaiji said all the water desalination stations fall under its power. "No station is entitled to make, pack or distribute desalinated water or bottle without being licensed in advance."
The department enters into an annual contract for examining and analysing all those stations' products on a weekly basis to ensure that they are valid and fit for human consumption, she explained. "This is a mandatory procedure for their products to be given access to the local market and be exported as well."
The Food Control Section under the department runs daily and surprise inspection campaigns against all the water desalination stations to check on their cleanliness, and the efficiency of their devices, and medical fitness of staff workers, though.
"The section ran 160 inspection campaigns against all the water desalination stations in the emirate in the last seven months during which they collected up to 1,015 samples for lab tests."
Al Tunaiji said, as per law, all water desalination stations in the emirate must comply with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, or HACCP to be eligible for license renewal.
"HACCP is a systematic preventive approach to food safety and allergenic, chemical, and biological hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe, and designs measurements to reduce these risks to a safe level."
Al Tunaiji noted that the municipality checks all the tools and equipment used in water desalination, apart from the staff health and medical fitness. "The RAK Municipality has further stopped issuing licenses for new water desalination stations, and has only licensed those using the municipality water."
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