In line with its efforts to enhance societal awareness of best food safety practices, the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has launched a guide in three languages on the necessary procedures and measures to prepare, handle and deliver food safely during COVDI-19 crisis. The guide provides a detailed clarification of food safety guidelines, precautionary measures, and proper hygiene practices that should be implemented by retail outlets and restaurants, to ensure food safety and maintain consumer health.
In this regard, Dr. Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi, Director of ADAFSA's Legislation Division, said the guide provides food facilities with important guidelines on how to handle and deliver food products safely, and the best hygiene practices in terms of cleaning, disinfecting and using personal protective equipment, to maintain workers and consumers' health.
"It consists of five main sections focusing on ensuring personal hygiene of workers and consumers, managing operations in retail stores, food-related facilities and restaurants, managing food orders delivery and receiving meals, in addition to the section featuring guidelines for consumers," Al Hammadi added.
According to Al Hammadi, the guide was issued in Arabic, English and Urdu. It includes practices based on the latest scientific studies and recommendations of WHO and the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) for combating COVID-19, which ensures maintaining the safety of food handlers and consumers, as well as improving food safety levels in food facilities.
The guide also contains a mechanism for reporting and handling any case showing symptoms of COVID-19 among food workers, by informing the facility supervisors about these symptoms, to ensure appropriate action is taken, he said.
Furthermore, the guide highlights important information about the relationship between food and COVID-19, providing evidence-based answers to multiple inquiries in this regard. It includes the most important guidelines and controls to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among facility workers, by applying food safety management system. This requires sanitizing and cleaning of workplaces, monitoring operations regularly, maintaining social distancing among workers, using personal protective equipment, educating and training workers, and modernizing work procedures, which ensures enhancing the quality and safety of food provided to consumers.
Additionally, the guide provides a set of instructions and recommendations to ensure food safety while delivering, the appropriate packages for packing and transporting foods, the suitable vehicles intended for delivering food, ways to ensure the commitment of delivery workers to safety measures, and the most important measures to be observed while passing deliveries to customers.
By cooperating with INFOSAN, WHO and FAO, ADAFSA has been supporting the local, regional and international food safety-related efforts since the start of COVID-19 crisis. In addition, ADAFSA has issued a guidance document to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at food businesses sector and throughout handling food. It was circulated to all countries around the globe with the aim of raising awareness of food safety authorities, food handlers and consumers about practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.