Dubai Covid-19 Protocol: More than 69,000 food outlets inspected in 2021 – News

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Dubai Municipality Reports 90% Food Establishment Compliance



Used for illustrative purposes. Photo: File

Posted: Sun Dec 5 2021, 12:58

The Dubai Municipality has inspected more than 69,000 food establishments for safety and compliance with Covid-19 protocols since the start of this year.

According to Sultan Al Taher, director of the Dubai Municipality’s Food Safety Department, the number of establishments inspected this year was well above the annual average of 45,000 inspections carried out by the authority each year.

“The municipality has inspected more establishments to ensure that Covid-19 safety precautions are being followed. The Dubai Municipality has stepped up inspections of grocery stores, ”Al Taher told the Khaleej Times. A total of 69,025 points of sale have been inspected since the start of this year. “By the end of December, we would have inspected nearly 70,000 or more outlets,” the official said.

“We have regular food safety checklists and we also make sure that pandemic precautions are followed,” he explained. In addition, the overall compliance rate of food establishments that underwent inspections stood at 90 percent, he added.

Food establishments include all outlets related to the food industry, including restaurants, cafeterias, supermarkets, food kiosks, etc. Failed outlets face temporary closures and in some cases outlets take corrective actions within a day.

Sultan Al Taher, Director of the Department of Food Security, Municipality of Dubai.  Photo: Supplied

Sultan Al Taher, Director of the Department of Food Security, Municipality of Dubai. Photo: Supplied

In the event of critical or high-risk offenses, the maximum closure period imposed on food establishments is one week. “The response time of health inspectors is fast and efficient,” Al Taher added.

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According to Al Taher, common mistakes made by grocery stores when it comes to personal hygiene and lack of staff training, for example. “In some cases, establishments are not clean, or there is a low level of personal hygiene,” he added. Most of the violations committed are minor errors, and some are repetitive.

The official also said the municipality will continue to remain cautious and maintain high standards of cleanliness at a food establishment over the coming year. “We will continue to monitor food establishments to ensure they are adhering to Covid-19 protocols over the coming year,” Al Taher explained.

Municipality action plan

In addition to routine inspections, examiners also responded to customer complaints from the general public. “We have had several surprise checks even during weekends, emergencies and holidays, for example,” Al Taher said.

The Dubai Municipality receives several complaints from customers on the 800900 hotlines. “We receive an average of 15 complaints per day. However, the number of calls regarding Covid-19 has decreased since July of this year, ”he added. “We also receive several calls which do not concern us either,” said Al Taher.

The director of the food safety department said it was not uncommon for residents to call and complain that “the food is too hot or spicy” or that “the delivery people have the wrong order or are in. delay, for example “.

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Recent initiatives of the Municipality of Dubai

The Dubai Municipality launched the new rating system following the International Conference on Food Safety. Submissions for Dubai Star will begin in early January and end on April 30, 2022. Winners will be announced at the next session of the Food Security Conference, to be held in November 2022.

The system is a global initiative through which restaurants will be encouraged to implement sustainable practices to produce safe, healthy and high quality food. The top-rated restaurants will be honored each year, Al Taher said.

“Only restaurants that have achieved an A rating for three consecutive years can apply for Dubai Star,” he explained.

The Dubai Municipality has also launched a set of unique food security and nutrition initiatives, such as the Green Lane, improving the knowledge efficiency of food handlers and improving transport systems. food and logistics services through integration with RTA.

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