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7% of food warehouses in Dubai non-compliant with Dubai Municipality requirements

United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, June 09 - 2010 @ 10:01

The campaign comes within the efforts and programmes undertaken by the Food Control Department in order to ensure the health and safety of the food consumed by the members of the community.

The campaign carried out by the Food Control Section with beginning of the summer months was within the plans that are designed to ensure health and safety of food traded in the emirate before they reach the consumer.

Sultan Al Tahir, Head of the Product Control Section in the Food Control Department said that the campaign covered 257 warehouses that include warehouses of dry, chilled and frozen food items in the Emirate of Dubai.

“The campaign, which resulted in issuing fines for 144 establishments, stressed all the stores the need to adhere to the approved hygiene requirements of the Municipality,” he said.

Tahir noted that during the campaign most of the warehouses received good assessment.

“However, 18 warehouses that received the medium and weak assessment marks were found to be not complying with the existing hygiene requirements of Dubai Municipality. They were instructed them to comply with the requirements and the need to modify their status,” he said.

Tahir said the prominent violations in those institutions were the accumulation of storage and the lack of proper ventilation system while preserving the food.

He said good conservation of food depends on knowing the appropriate conditions for the storage of each type of food to protect them from contamination.

“Hence, the Section formed a team for conducting the inspection campaign in the warehouses last month to make sure they are complying with the requirements for proper storage of food, which may get damaged due to negligence during this season because of the high humidity and temperature, which allows the growth and reproduction of microbes,”

said Tahir.

He said controlling the temperature level is the most effective way to reduce the risk of microbes and preventing it from multiplying and destroying foodstuffs during storage. “So you must store the food in temperatures that are suitable for them, whether they are refrigerated, frozen or dry food,” said Tahir.

He pointed out that during the campaign it was checked that the refrigeration and freezing equipments were working efficiently and continuously, ensuring the availability of alternative equipments in case of breakdowns.

“We tried to ensure that the refrigeration units were working at a temperature of 4 degree C or less and the freezing units were kept at a temperature of minus 18 or less, and in the case of dry food the temperature was kept at 21 degree C or less and that there is no indication to the melting of the frozen food. We also made sure that all the food either refrigerated or frozen or dry retain their natural properties. The campaign also ensured the availability of hygiene requirements for warehouses, equipments and workers, as well as monitored the validity periods of food and that they were kept in a healthy manner and also ensured that there are no cases of commercial fraud,” said Tahir.

In addition, emphasis was placed during the campaign to identify areas for storage in the warehouses as they were evaluated according to the size of work. A database of stores was being made available with the Section as they were entered in the GPS system on a continuous basis, which will help in locating stores in the future.

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Wednesday, June 9- 2010 @ 10:01 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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