Vehicle trackers, data analysis: How Dubai's inspectors ensured food safety during Ramadan

Khaleej Times accompanies inspectors in Muhaisnah



File photo
File photo

By Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Tue 26 Apr 2022, 5:50 PM

Last updated: Tue 3 May 2022, 7:31 PM

Restaurants and eateries across Dubai are being inspected to make sure they are abiding to the city’s stringent food safety rules during the busy period of Ramadan.

Khaleej Times accompanied Dubai Municipality inspectors during a late evening inspection of a popular restaurant in Muhaisnah.

From the receiving area to the way food is prepared, DM inspectors conducted a thorough examination of the restaurant to ensure that all food safety measures were being followed.

Dubai Municipality strictly controls the suppliers of all foodstuffs in an effort to regulate food safety. Suppliers are required to put digital devices in their transportation vehicles so that the municipality can track their journey closely.

To make matters more transparent, the municipality has a smart system – the FoodWatch platform – which enables them to track food by checking the ingredients and nutritional information of each product. The platform also helps in the exchange of information between regulatory agencies, food establishments, service providers to these establishments and consumers, using smart digital control and data analysis.

Khaleej Times visited the restaurant Back to Grills in Oud Metha, where the restaurant staff demonstrated their cleaning and cooking process.

Chef Anish Mathew explained how all vegetables are individually washed, sanitized, dried and stored in chillers which are then tagged with dates. There are streamlined rules on what kind of sanitizing tablets or liquids must be used and their ratio to water. All fresh produce must be used within three days.

During a visit to the café Forever Rose in Jumeirah, the chef Zeineb Ben Slama demonstrated how meat is prepared and stored at their restaurant

Apart from using separate cutting boards for different kinds of food, there are strict guidelines on how meat should be stored. Once received, meat must be stored in the freezer. Before using, the meat must be moved from the freezer to the chiller where it can thaw. Meat is allowed to be kept in the chiller for a maximum of 3 days. Once thawed, the meat must be portioned out and vacuum-packed for further use.

Dubai Municipality is working closely with both federal and local entities to strengthen food supply chains. These efforts contribute to the UAE’s broader aim to enhance food security in the country and attain number one ranking in the Global Food Security Index by 2051.

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