18 Violation Cases, Seven Warnings and Destruction of 728 KG of Food in Al Ruwais and Ghayathi
During an intensive inspection campaign on catering companies and labor camps in Al Ruwais and Ghayathi in the Western Region, inspectors of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) charged 18 companies for food safety violations, issued warnings against 7 and destroyed 728 kilograms of food items. Only nine out of 35 were found compliant with the rules and regulations.
Speaking on the inspections, Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA said unlicensed catering in labor camps would be severely dealt with. "We had communicated time and again to all the catering firms and labor camps that no one was allowed to cater food to labor camps without a proper license for the purpose. Stringent action will be taken against the violators. The safety of the workers in the labor camps is no less important than the safety of others and we will not allow anyone to expose such an important section of people living in our midst to food risks, illnesses and even death," he added.
Al Reyaysa added: "If anyone thinks we will turn a blind eye to what is happening in the labor camps, they are mistaken. Our mission is to make sure no unsafe food practices are carried out anywhere in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. We call upon people, especially laborers in the emirate, to bring to our notice any food safety violations they notice in their camps by calling the toll free number 800555," he said.
"We are currently targeting all the 340 kitchens in labor camps in the Western Region. We got in touch with the Ministry of Labor to transfer the files regarding all the companies in the Western Region in order to make sure all the catering activities are carried out in strict adherence to the rules and regulation and under ADFCA license. 225 kitchens have already got licenses for providing catering services, 99 are under consideration for licensing and 16 are now under construction. All the labor kitchens will be issued licenses by the end of this year. We have intensified field visits in the region to make sure no one operates catering activities without proper licenses," he stressed.
All the violations detected during the campaign related to licensing issues. While some were catering food to labor camps without any license for the purpose, some others did not bother to renew their licenses after the expiry dates. Some companies were using for transportation and distribution of food vehicles that did not have the required permits for the purpose.
As for the warnings issued, they pertained to refreezing fish and meat after defreeze, possession of frozen food items of unknown source and details, use of dirty cloth pieces for cleaning instead of paper napkins, using rotten oil for frying and keeping ready to eat food in improper conditions.