Dubai, UAE: Although 43 complaints over lack of food safety hygiene were made during the Eid holidays, municipal officials assure residents there is no need to worry about the safety standard in food establishments across the emirate.
“We are focusing all our efforts on eliminating cases of food poisoning, and that is done by carrying out intense inspections to ensure that all the safety requirements related to preparing and serving food are adhered to,” said Bobby Krishna, Senior Food Studies and Survey Officer, Food Control Department at Dubai Municipality.
According to a recent report by Dubai Municipality during the Eid holiday, there were 21 complaints of food contamination, such as finding a hair or iron nails in food, and seven complaints related to personal hygiene such as not wearing gloves or the proper headwear when preparing food.
There was a further eight complaints of contaminated food, seven complaints of insects found in the food establishment, and six related to not offering fresh food in restaurants and cafeterias.
A team deployed by the food inspection department at Dubai Municipality also carried out a regular surveillance in all parks, shopping centres and events at Umm Suqeim open beach.
“Having 43 complaints over three days should not be of concern to the public because on average, we receive about 10 complaints related to food safety on a daily basis. Once these complaints are filed, we carry out our own investigation and if we find that the food establishment in question did not follow safety procedures, such as wearing a hairnet, then the appropriate warnings and fines will be implemented,” explained Krishna.
“Every year we get fewer notifications, indicating the increased awareness and compliance of food establishments with the rules and regulations in place,” said Sultan Al Taher, Head of Food Inspections Sections.
He pointed out that food outlets in shopping centres account for 15 per cent of food establishments in Dubai.
“We are strictly enforcing the Food Code to reduce the number of food poisoning cases, which ensures the sanitary condition of restaurants’ kitchens. Each type of food needs to be stored at appropriate temperatures to prevent the reproduction of microbes, and prevent these from multiplying,” he added.
Residents are urged to notify any violations by contacting Dubai Municipality’s hotline 800900.
© Gulf NewsOct 2013