As part of its intensive inspection and awareness campaigns targeting food facilities in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during the holy month of Ramadan, Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has carried out 5,190 inspection visits to the emirate's food facilities since the beginning of Ramadan. This comes within efforts made by ADAFSA to improve food safety standards in the emirate, and to ensure compliance of food facilities with hygiene requirements and precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The inspection visits aimed at monitoring and correcting wrong practices according to approved procedures, to ensure applying the highest food safety standards in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, thus achieving the well-being and safety of community members.
The inspection visits resulted in ensuring compliance of 4,860 facilities with food safety requirements. In addition, 330 administrative actions were taken against facilities failed to comply with guidelines and requirements. Targeting restaurants, groceries and other food-related facilities, ADAFSA's inspections resulted in issuing 252 final warnings, 21 notices, 50 warnings, and 7 violations.
Since the beginning of Ramadan, ADAFSA's inspectors sought to ensure the compliance of food facilities with its food safety circulars, in addition to following up the implementation of measures to prevent COVID-19. In cases that nonconformities affecting food safety are found, ADAFSA takes immediate and strict actions. Moreover, ADAFSA's inspection efforts covered food warehouses, distribution centers, suppliers and retail stores, to ensure that those facilities are able to meet consumers' needs of food while applying the best food safety standards.
Furthermore, ADAFSA's inspectors strive to ensure maintaining hygiene and food safety standards by food facilities, especially in places dedicated to store, prepare and display foods. They also raised food handlers' awareness of the most important food safety practices, including proper ways for preserving and storing foods, ensuring the cleanness of food preparation areas, the importance of maintaining personal hygiene, and the need to provide adequate sanitizers in the facility.
Besides, food workers were educated about the importance of washing hands in designated places, wearing protective clothing, such as head cover, masks and gloves, and closing any openings in the doors and windows of food storage facilities. These efforts aim at promoting food handlers' role in implementing food safety practices and requirements.
Apart from its inspection efforts, ADAFSA launched a large-scale awareness campaign targeting food workers and consumers, to educate them about the best practices to be followed while receiving, storing, preparing, cooking, storing and serving foods. In addition, ADAFSA introduced them to the potential risks resulting from undertaking wrong practices while handling food within a facility.
Additionally, ADAFSA continues publishing advice and tips on its official social media accounts, to raise the public awareness about the best practices to handle food safely and reduce food waste.
ADAFSA urged consumers to report any violations they detect in any food facility by contacting Abu Dhabi Government Contact Center on 800555. This helps the authority's inspectors take the necessary action, to ensure providing safe and healthy food to all consumers across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.