Intensive Food Inspections Increase Levels of Compliance
Only ten fines issued during 3009 inspections at hotels and slaughter houses
Abu Dhabi, May 8, 2010: The latest data released by Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority about food inspection activities in the month of March reveal a much improved food safety situation in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, with a few glaring exceptions. The report also disclosed details of some soft drinks and bottled water recalled from sale in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The distribution of a 250 g Melco mango drink, manufactured in Sharjah, was stopped due to some defects in it. Chunks pine apple, a Del Mont canned juice from Philippines weighing 836 gm, was recalled because pork was mentioned on the product label. The 6-litre water bottles from Pure Spring Water (Salsabil) were detained for further tests because of excessive bromine content.
The Melco product was captured by the Authority's inspectors from Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society in Al Bateen area, Fatima Supermarket, Millennium Supermarket on the Airport Road and Al Safa Supermarket on Electra Road with the following manufacturing and expiry dates respectively: 31/1/2010 ï¿½ 31/10/2010, 9/12/2009 ï¿½ 9/9/2010, 15/11/2009 ï¿½ 15/8/2010 and 31/10/2009 ï¿½ 31/7/2010.
The Del Mont product, imported by Al Maya Supermarket (manufactured in December 2009 and to expire on December 2010), was captured for its label mentioned pork. As for the Salsabil water bottles of 6 litres (No 17:22, manufactured on 7/11/2009 and to expire on 6/11/2010) which are sold by Middle East Supermarket, the bromium content was found to be far in excess of the permitted limits.
A whopping 2307 inspections visits by the Authority's specialized food inspection department - out of a total of 3009 - to slaughterhouses, hotels, food manufacturing units and educational institutions were greeted with full compliance with the Authority's stringent safety standards, indicating major improvement. During these 3009 visits, only 10 fines and 235 warnings were issued, a lion's share of which targeted slaughterhouses and hotels. The quantity of food destroyed during the visits amounted to four tons and no outlet faced closure.
The inspection visits by the Authority's food inspection department to food supply units, retail outlets and warehouses showed less encouraging results. During a total of 2933 inspection visits, 1302 warnings and 162 fines were issued, besides the closure of 11 outlets, two food poisoning incidents and more than 14 tons of destroyed food items. Only 917 visits were greeted with full compliance.
Stepping up vigil at the border crossings in Abu Dhabi resulted in the destruction of 13900 KG of food items, while another 146539 KG were refused at the crossings.
Commenting on the figures and their indications, An official from Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, said the figures showed tremendous improvement from the same period last year. "But at the same time, we are also conscious that much more needed to be done. Our efforts currently focus on consistent monitoring practices coupled with tireless awareness campaigns. Both these together will produce results far better than enforcement drives alone. We are trying to spread food safety awareness not just among food suppliers, manufactures and sellers, but also among the consuming public," he pointed out.