In a pre-Ramadan special inspection drive on high-risk food outlets in Madinat Zayed in the Western Region, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (AFCA) inspectors issued 19 warnings and destroyed 16 kilograms of food items. No violations were charged because of considerable improvement in adherence to food safety standards in general in the city.
Targeting a total of 34 food outlets in the city which included restaurants, cafeterias, bakeries and confectionaries, meat and fish shops and the central market , the three teams of inspectors also tried to raise the level of food safety awareness among workers in the outlets.
Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA, said the Authority was spreading its wings far and wide in order to ensure a food-safe Ramadan for all citizens, residents and visitors. "In view of the Ramadan rush in food outlets, we are now conducting rigorous inspections at all food establishments, especially the high risk ones so that the holy month passes off without any untoward incidents caused by unsafe foods. We call upon the public to bring to our notice any food safety violations they come across," he added.
All outlets in the central markets were warned against malfunctioning or insufficient air conditioners that caused higher than permitted levels of temperature inside the shops. They were also instructed to install glass walls and automatic doors in the front in order to avoid fluctuation in the temperature inside.
The main reasons behind the warnings ranged from non-renewal of licenses, bad hygiene in food preparation areas, floors, refrigerators and freezers, unacceptable storing practices, non-use of metal tables for cleaning vegetables, non-availability of food-operated dustbins, not covering cooked food or not keeping them in required temperature levels, using cloth pieces instead of paper napkins for cleaning, not operating insect traps and leaving the dustbins open.
A number of bakeries were directed to improve their food safety practices in order to ensure full adherence to the standards. The most common failures in bakeries included products without expiry dates, workers not wearing head covers or wearing rings on their fingers, poor ventilation and incomplete or erroneous food labels.