Comprehensive food safety plan for Ramadan
In preparation for the month of Holy Ramadan, Dubai Municipality has come up with a comprehensive plan and some stringent instructions to the owners of food establishments who plans to sell snacks outside the shops during Ramadan.
The instructions issued by the food control department have been directed to all restaurants, cafeterias, sweet shops, bakeries and catering companies functioning in Dubai.
On this occasion, Khalid Sharif, director, food control department said: “This year we have assigned a team of experienced food inspectors to ensure the food safety preparing to observe the holy month. All the food outlets that intent to display and or sell food outside their premises should take prior approval from the department.”
“It’s a tradition to display and sell foods outside the establishments during Ramadan. Without prior and due approval from the food control department, no food establishment would be allowed to display or sell snack food outside their premises. As people are very fond of snack items to be included their Iftar items, there are chances to forget from where stuffs are bought and up to what levels of safety and hygiene they are kept,” he said.
‘The food establishments such as restaurants and cafeteria to co-operate with the department by adhering to the rules and regulations which are made to ensure safety and to avoid any possible risks to human health during the holy month,’ he said.
He urged public to be highly alert when purchasing food items from the displayed areas-do not buy food from people or businesses that are not authorised to sell them.
According to the instructions, food establishments have to submit application along with the list of snack foods that the they intent to display outside the shops.
Sultan Ali Tahir, head of food inspection section shed light on the Health Requirements for displayed Foods where he said that food establishments must adhere to the food safety requirements that are relevant to display and sale of foods. All foods should be displayed in closed food cabinets that are suitable for food display and storage. Display cabinets must be located in a suitable place adequately protected from external contaminants.
“Food establishments must refrain from preparing, cooking and reheating foods outside the food establishment,” Tahir said.
“Foods can be displayed and sold from 2 hours before the Iftar time. No foods should be displayed nor sold outside the premises after Iftar time. It is preferred that final cooking to be done max 2 hours before selling time,” he explained.
‘Cold foods should be kept in cold display units and hot foods should be in hot display units. However, if temperature control is not used, the food should be consumed within 2 hours of preparation, he continued.
He urged food establishments to maintain temperature and time records for foods that are displayed, as well as consumers not to store the food long after purchasing and consume them as soon as possible.
Food control department at has published the instructions in different languages like Arabic, English, Urdu and Malayalam in order to ensure the outreach to several sections of the people.
Sultan urged public to volunteer with DM in serving the society reporting any violations noticed in the emirate of Dubai by calling to DM’s hotline : 800900.
Eng. Khalid Sherif
Sultan Ali Tahir