6-day Eid weekend: Checklist before you leave for break
Here are some tips from experts before leaving for a vacation over the coming weekend on the occasion of Eid Al Adha.
UAE food safety experts have urged the residents to be cautious in storing food safely before leaving on a vacation. Many residents have planned a vacation over the coming weekend on the occasion of Eid Al Adha.
Dr Abdul Azeez, food safety expert at MRS Food Safety said that it is necessary to store food properly before leaving for a vacation. Else, it may be a nuisance to the neighbours and could also cause suspicion.
This is in line with the Dubai Police instructing residents to ensure cleanliness of their apartments and not to leave stale foodstuff that may emit a foul smell and could lead to the force breaking into their homes during their absence. Data revealed that the police’s rescue teams had to force open 139 apartments between January 1 and May 31, 2021. The intervention was required following complaints of foul smell emanating from apartments because of rotten foodstuff.
Dr Azeez said that food is categorised into four types.
“Food that we eat can be categorised into high-risk, low-risk, raw, and ready-to-eat food,” Dr Azeez said.
High-risk is potentially hazardous and most food poisoning outbreaks are associated with these foods. They are ready to eat such as cooked meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables. They can be stored in the chiller safely below 5 degrees centigrade for a maximum of three days and in the freezer for more than a year at a temperature of -18 degrees centigrade.
“If you are planning a vacation for more than three days, the food should be disposed of before leaving or stored in the freezer at -18 degrees centigrade. It is important that these frozen foods should be thawed thoroughly at controlled temperature and reheated over 75 degrees centigrade before consumption,” Dr Azeez added.
Low-risk ones are those with a longer shelf life such as dry food, canned items, pickles and cereals.
“These shall be stored at room temperatures around 25 degrees centigrade until the specified shelf life,” he added.
Raw foods such as fresh meat, poultry and fish have a short shelf life. These should be stored in the refrigerator below 5 degrees centigrade. However, it can be stored in the freezer at – 18 degrees centigrade for longer periods.
Ready-to-eat raw food such as salads and fruits are perishable and should be stored in the chiller below 5 degrees centigrade and should be consumed within three days. If the shelf life exceeds three days, they must be discarded.
Food safety experts say that it is the responsibility of every individual to protect food from decaying and preserve them for future consumption or usage. It is important that food is properly used and adhere to suitable techniques employed for safe storage.
They urge residents to dispose of garbage before leaving for vacation to avoid causing a nuisance to neighbours.
“Accumulation of garbage leads to the harbouring of pests, especially rodents and creates obvious odour due to decomposition of perishable food,” he added. “So they must be disposed of in the external waste bins such as trolley bins provided by Dubai Municipality in residential areas. Never leave any food waste in the internal waste bin at home, regardless of dry or perishable food,” he added.
It is also mandatory to switch off electrical appliances such as water heaters, irons and TV sets to prevent electrical hazards.
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