Keep AC on at night or face action, Sharjah grocers told
Sharjah - Inspectors also asked establishments to take corrective measures, and destroyed food items found unfit for human consumption.
The Sharjah Municipality has warned food outlets, particularly grocery shops, to keep their cooling systems working at night or face stringent action, as it stepped up its food safety campaign.
During the intensified crackdown, the inspectors also asked establishments to take corrective measures, and destroyed food items found unfit for human consumption.
Omar Al Muhairi, head of the Food Control Department at the Municipality of Sharjah, pointed out that during the campaign, the inspectors ensured that the refrigerators are not switched off 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.
Apart from grocery shops, the crackdown targeted supermarkets, restaurants, cafeteria, cafes, fast food manufacturers and importers.
Al Muhairi underlined that the municipality has been tightening its control over food products traded in the local markets and organising periodic and surprise inspection campaigns on various food establishments. This is being done to check compliance of guidelines while enhancing consumer confidence in the food circulating in the emirate, he said. "Consumer health is a priority for the civic body and therefore, it has intensified the supervision of food products in Sharjah," he added.
Food samples under scanner
The municipality inspectors are visiting outlets to take samples of foodstuffs for laboratory tests and examine if it is adhering to the prescribed health standards. The inspectors and central lab officials take samples of the product and analyse it in the laboratory following a complaint by consumer. If the outlet is found violating health regulation, it is slapped with a hefty fine and the facility is closed in case of repeated violation.
Check expiry date
Al Muhairi pointed out that the foodstuff is considered fit for human consumption till the expiry date stated on the label in the package. He pointed out that the municipality immediately confiscates any expired materials and takes action against the establishment that sells a product beyond its expiry.
Al Muhairi urged the public to look carefully at the food label to ensure the date of expiry and the proper way to keep it at the right temperatures. Shop owners and consumers should make sure that all hygienic requirements are available at the place where products are displayed and stored, he added.