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DIFSC deliberates food safety issues of the UAE

United Arab Emirates: Thursday, February 23 - 2012 @ 13:44

The two-day event, organized alongside the Gulfood 2012 under the patronage of the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and Chairman of Dubai Municipality Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was inaugurated by Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality on Tuesday. The post conference workshops will be conducted at same venue on 23rd of February.

Al Attar and Al Raeesi shed the light on the functions and duties of the joint program between DHA and DM, which was founded in 2010 where an action team was formed in order to develop plans and strategies and distribute duties to prevent food-borne diseases and epidemiological investigation in the emirate of Dubai.

Al Attar said that on diagnosing any food-borne disease case in the country, the health organisations in both government and private sector will act immediately to report the case through e-notification system and the Epidemiological Service Centre will follow up the information received and perform the initial investigation with the doctor who diagnosed the case. The centre will report to the municipality within 24 hours to take necessary corrective actions and prepare the complete report from both parties with recommendations for each case.

“The number of cases detected in the emirate of Dubai after the launch of joint program indicates its success and we will increase the number of hospitals that can be notified in such circumstances and we have prepared a informative guide for those who are working in the health field. This guide is approved by the Disease Monitoring Centre, USA,” Al Raeesi said.

During the Food Safety conference and the first Middle East Symposium of International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), Dubai Municipality has provided a panel of discussion on the future and the challenges of food safety in the GCC countries. a number of regulatory authorities participated in the panel including Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Saudi Food and Drug Authority and Gulf Standardisation Organisation (GSO).

On the sidelines of the conference, IAFP has provided a certificate of appreciation to Dubai Municipality represented by the Food Control Department for its efforts in the food safety at regional and international levels.

Dr. Isabel Walls, President, IAFP presented an important paper under the title “Ensuring the Safety of the Food supply While Facilitating International Trade”.

Walls said the food could become contaminated at any point along the value chain, starting with the source of the water used for irrigation or food production. Contaminated irrigation water can lead to contaminated crops. Use of human or animal waste as fertilizer can contaminate crops. Controls are needed throughout the food chain to prevent or mitigate contamination. Global climate change will result in global temperature increases, and increased flooding and drought. These changes have implications for water and food safety, including increased microbial food-borne disease, increased mycotoxin contamination, increases in biotoxins and mercury in fish products and a potential for increased use of pesticides and veterinary drugs, which could contaminate the food supply.

Dr. V. Prakash, Distinguished Scientist of CSIR, India also presented a paper under the title “The Linkages in the Food Chain Network between Food Security, Quality and Safety”

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Thursday, February 23- 2012 @ 13:44 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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