The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has confirmed that all types of rice, available in Abu Dhabi's markets are free from the high concentration of arsenic. The authority further added it prevents concentrations of arsenic in rice from reaching to the impermissible rates, through subjecting rice's consignments, upon reaching to the emirate's ports, to full control and inspection processes before offering them in the market.
Besides, ADFCA has developed a risk-based inspection system for the local markets of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, under which inspections campaigns on sales outlets and all food facilities are carried out to ensure that all foodstuffs are fit for human consumption.
The authority indicated that arsenic is one of the heavy metals, which affects the consumer's health in case of exposing food or agricultural products to elevated levels of arsenic that exceed the approved limits set out in the relevant technical regulations. ADFCA also clarified that the UAE's technical regulation no.193/2013, on food contaminants and toxins, determines the highest arsenic rates allowed in food products, including rice.
ADFCA confirmed that its monitoring efforts, included conducting laboratory testing, following-up the notifications of food safety network, analyzing risks as well as organising inspection programmes, protect rice from reaching to impermissible rates of arsenic.
The authority stressed that rice's consignments may contain varying levels of arsenic based on several factors, the most important of which are agricultural soils' contamination and the nature of water used in irrigation. ADFCA urged consumers not to follow such unrealistic rumours saying that rice's arsenic is harmful in general.
ADFCA advises its consumers to take precautionary measures to reduce the concentration of arsenic in rice, even if it is within the permissible limits, such as the disposal of water used to soak the rice before cooking as well as replacing the soaking water more than once.