UAE: All food items in country are insect-free, ministry clarifies

The public is urged to verify information before sharing posts online

Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 9 Feb 2023, 7:40 PM

Last updated: Thu 9 Feb 2023, 7:54 PM

All food products sold in the UAE are insect-free, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has confirmed.

The ministry issued a clarification after reports on social media and in some sections of the media said "certain European countries" allow the addition of insects in some products.

The ministry said the reports are false and urged the public to verify information with the country's official authorities before circulating it.

It stated that all insects and worms are considered non-halal food, except for locusts and "any incidental parts of bees that may be found in honey".

"The ministry verifies ... that all food products sold in the country's markets ... comply with health regulations and accepted specifications, guaranteeing that all food items meet Islamic Sharia's Halal standards."

Any food product that contains insects or their derivatives must be accompanied by a 'Halal' certificate.

"The ministry affirms that local regulatory authorities are compliant with the technical regulations and standard specifications, especially regarding food safety and health," the ministry added.

This is done through laboratory tests conducted in accredited research facilities that can determine the origin of the protein.

Earlier this week, Qatar announced a ban on consuming insects in a move that comes after the European Union added new products to its list of approved foods.

Qatar's announcement follows "some countries' decision to approve the use of insects in food production".

It did not identify the countries, but the EU commission last month approved the larvae of the lesser mealworm -- a species of beetle -- and a product containing the house cricket for use in food. It has now approved four insects as "novel food". All products containing insects must be clearly labelled.


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