Civic bodies ramp up food safety crackdown in UAE

Civic bodies ramp up food safety crackdown in UAE

Sharjah/Ajman/Fujairah - The intensive crackdown comes as the civic body ramps up efforts to ensure food safety for consumers during the holy month of Ramadan.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Tue 30 Apr 2019, 9:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Apr 2019, 11:38 PM

The Sharjah Municipality carried out 11,000 inspection visits to food outlets in the first quarter of this year and issued1,034 violations against units that did not comply with the prescribed health requirements and standards. The inspectors also warned 2,320 establishments to take corrective measures, while confiscating and destroying 106,344kg food items found unfit for human consumption.
The intensive crackdown comes as the civic body ramps up efforts to ensure food safety for consumers during the holy month of Ramadan.
Omar Al Muhairi, head of Food Control Department at Sharjah Municipality, said that consumer health is a priority for the civic body and it is following directives to intensify the supervision of food products' trade in Sharjah. It includes field visits to food establishments, while continuing campaigns to enhance the emirate's status as a healthy city.
Al Muhairi pointed out that during the campaigns, the inspectors ensure that the refrigerators continue to work at night. If any shop is found to have failed to ensure proper freezing of food items, the food stored will be confiscated and tough action taken against the owner, he added.
Al Muhairi urged consumers that while buying frozen products, they must ensure that they are properly stored in refrigerators and freezers, and then keep them at the right temperatures in the house.
339 intensive inspection campaigns in Fujairah
A total of 339 intensive inspection campaigns to monitor food facilities were conducted in the first quarter of 2019. The drive covered restaurants, cafeterias, bakeries, confectioneries, grocery stores, retail centers, shopping centers, food stores, supermarkets and markets.
The Department of Public Services and Environment represented by the Public Health Department carried out the inspections. The campaigns resulted in warning to 81 food outlets while 15 shops were fined for violating the health requirements.
A top official at Fujairah Municipality said the civic body has completed all preparations for the holy month of Ramadan and developed a plan of action that will cover all parts of the emirate.
Ajman launches campaign to check food safety violations
The Ajman Municipality has launched an inspection campaign targeting food outlets as well as production and importing companies to prevent flouting of health and hygiene standards to ensure food safety during the holy month.
A municipality official said: "The drive includes intensifying surprise and regular visits to all food establishments operating in the emirate to keep tabs on them."
Khalid Al Hosani, director of Health and Environment Department at Ajman Municipality, said that the civic body ensures tightening of control over food establishments.
He added that the campaigns organised by the municipality aimed at checking if food outlets were adhering to health safety norms.
"The implementation of the Ajman public health programme and the training of workers in the food sector contributed to enhancing the quality of services provided to consumers," Al Hosani pointed out.
He added that the health programme aims to raise the standard of public health in the food establishments operating in the emirate in accordance with the Federal Food Safety Law.
He urged the owners of food facilities to comply with the health regulations and conditions laid down by the Ajman public health programme and abide by the required standards.
Fujairah Ramadan Market to have 44 stalls
The municipality will also open the Fujairah Ramadan Food Market on Corniche, where various Ramadan meals will be served. The Ramadan market will host several participants from the popular restaurants, in the presence of their owners, who are famous for preparing local cuisine. It will have 44 stalls for restaurants, bakeries and cafeterias.  "During Ramadan, every day, thousands of shoppers from the emirate of Fujairah and its surrounding areas are expected to flock to the market after Asr prayer.
4 abattoirs in Fujairah
The Fujairah Municipality has set up four abattoir facilities in Fujairah, Al Tuwaiyin, Masafi and Qadafah areas to ensure that the carcasses are subjected to veterinary examination before and after slaughter by the specialized veterinary staff to avoid diseases that can be transmitted and preserving the environment and the public landscape. The abattoirs are ready to operate with a capacity of slaughtering 1,000 animals per day.

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