The Sharjah Municipality fined 1,646 food establishments and outlets in the last three months, as part of intensified inspections to ensure healthy food during the holy month of Ramadan.
The municipality also destroyed 1,378 tonnes of food products found unfit for human consumption.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Dr. Amal Al Shamsi, director of the public health department at Sharjah Municipality, said that they are making great efforts to ensure the food safety in the markets by controlling and monitoring via intensified inspections. These target restaurants, cafeterias, cafes, public kitchens, supermarkets, groceries, meat and vegetable markets.
Al Shamsi said that every year, they develop inspection plans for the summer season, Ramadan and Eid festivals, to ensure “the residents of the emirate enjoy good health”.
The inspectors also checked personal hygiene levels maintained by the employees of the food outlets, besides ensuring that health protection rules related to food storage, preparation, distribution and temperature are followed.
Al Shamsi pointed out that the inspections are made in the morning and evening and include several procedures such as taking samples of products traded in the markets for laboratory testing, and issuing warnings to establishments that are not committed to applying the required health rules.
A number of unhealthy practices have been identified in the processing and preparation of foods, as well as the handling and storage of foods. The identified enterprises will have to take corrective action.
Omar Al Muhairi, head of the food control department in Sharjah Municipality, confirmed that the inspectors conducted 7,705 inspection visits and issued 2,591 warnings to outlets found violating the health and hygiene rules
The department also received 217 complaints during this quarter from consumers, related to food products’ expiry date and hygiene, as well as various other violations.
Food establishments must comply with public health stipulations, in order to avoid any that may reach the limit, leading to the closure of the facility, Al Muhairi noted.
Al Muhairi urged the consumers not to buy from street vendors and to communicate complaints or suggestions with the municipality hotline 993.
Source Credit: Khaleej Times