ADFCA's Summer Awareness Drive on Food Safety to Target Housewives
ADFCA's Summer Awareness Drive on Food Safety to Target Housewives
4/17/2013 12:00 AM

Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has decided to include a number of initiatives in its summer awareness program to specifically target house wives and other women. The Awareness Section of the Authority is currently finalizing several awareness publications and public lectures to communicate theoretical and practical tips on food safety to housewives.

The likelihood of food risks being on the rise during the summer months, the awareness drives will focus attention on all the essential precautions required to preempt food poisoning, cross contamination and other food-related problems.

Mohamed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA, said that in view of the principal role of women in preparing and serving food to their families, it was important to make sure they know how to deal safely with foods. "Awareness is key to a food-safe community. The likelihood of food risks begins right at the stage of shopping. It is important to buy foods from reliable sources," he explained.

"Reading the food labels and checking the ingredients and expiry dates is the first crucial step, followed by the proper methods of keeping food stuffs in the shopping cart, since mixing foods with materials such as detergents can be dangerous. Frozen and refrigerated foods should be purchased only at the end so they reach the kitchen in good shape. While buying packaged or canned foods, it is important to make sure the cans or packets are not perforated or defective," he added.

"Transporting foods is the next step in which things can go wrong completely if adequate care is not taken to reach home soon after shopping is over. Storing the purchases at home is an equally crucial stage as cooked and raw foods must be stored separately to ensure cross contamination does not happen. It is also important not to put hot foods back in the fridge before cooling them off as this practice will shoot up the temperature inside the refrigerators and ruin all stored items. Sufficient empty space should be left in the refrigerators for air flow, and no food should be kept back once it is de-frozen. No cooked food should be kept in the refrigerator for more than five days," he explained.

"There is a wide spread misconception that washing meat or poultry will help remove the microbes and bacteria. In fact; wrong ways of washing them can lead to contamination of the place as well. Keeping the kitchen and all the cooking accessories clean is also crucial in preempting food-borne illnesses. Using paper napkins is more advisable than clothe pieces or sponge, as the latter are ideal breeding ground for microbes and bacteria, due to their wetness and food residues in them," Al Rayssi cautioned.

Al Rayssi called upon the public to look up ADFCA's website or its social media pages  or twitter@adfca  for tips and advices on healthy food handling practices. He also invited people to visit ADFCA's stand at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair to get publications on food safety.

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