2,414 food outlets in Dubai get Municipality’s A Plus Rating

Published on Nov 18 2017 - - Featured, Gulf - -

Dubai Local

2,414 food outlets in Dubai get Municipality’s A Plus Rating

Dubai, 18 November 2017:

Crossing all expectations, 2,414 high-risk food establishments in Dubai have received A+ rating in the inspections conducted during the nine months of this year by the Food Inspection Section in the Food Safety Department of Dubai Municipality.


Sultan Ali Al Tahir, Head of Food Inspection Section said that this a huge difference for the city of Dubai compared to the previous years. “Only 443 food outlets had qualified for the prestigious A+ rating during 2016,” he said.


Al Tahir said that during the nine months the inspection teams conducted 26,285 visits to ensure that the food outlets comply with the food safety rules and regulations of the Municipality.


During the visits the Municipality had also closed down 124 food outlets temporarily due to their high-risk violations. The Municipality allowed a large number of them to re-start the work after meeting the technical specifications and hygiene requirements and fully complying with the food safety rules and regulations of the Municipality.


Al Tahir explained that an increased number of temporary closure orders were monitored during the summer months, due to high temperatures, which negatively affect the safety of food, and a sharp decrease was noticed in the number of closures with the beginning of the winter months.


Al Tahir said that the high risk establishments represented hotels and big restaurants with large quantities of food preparation. “The increased number of excellent rating was the result of the implementation of strategic food safety programs for the food establishments in the emirate and their adherence to our procedures to raise the hygiene and technical standards to reach this advanced level, most notably the application of HACCP risk analysis system in all hotels, catering companies, and increasing their effectiveness,” he said.


“This system targets the risks related to the food chain from raw materials to the consumer table,” said Al Tahir. “As for the low-level establishments, we applied the Intelligent Inspection Program, which was designed to identify, figure out and analyse the technical and hygiene risks, as well as to process them by developing radical solutions, in addition to applying the best practices in food safety. This has contributed significantly in raising the level of evaluation of the food establishments,” he said.


Al Tahir added that 98% of the Hygiene Supervisor Program has been implemented, which contributed greatly to the high hygiene situation in the various food establishments. “The goal of the Municipality is the participation of private establishments in improving their level and training their employees. We are working on a clear plan to raise their level, so that it is similar to the levels achieved by the emirate, as we have hotels and establishments with a rating of 7 stars, and food establishments should be equivalent to this class,” he said.


He pointed out that the specialized inspection teams have exerted outstanding efforts, which reflected in the commitment of the food establishments to food safety rules and regulations, and the implementation of the advanced food safety programs, which raised the hygiene and technical levels of these establishments and the commitment of employees to the standard global best practices in food.


“Many follow-up visits were also carried out by the Section to focus on the low-ranking establishments in order to raise their technical and hygienic standards and also to follow up the effectiveness of the implementation of the Hygiene Supervisor Program,” said Al Tahir.


“In addition, the inspectors also carried out many random visits. These visits were conducted without preparing any schedule in advance, while they were present in the inspection areas, and when they notice any irregularities in the food establishments that may affect public health,” he said.


“The team of inspectors in the Food Inspection Section makes a list of food establishments in different areas of the emirate to ascertain the accuracy of the number of establishments in each area according to the geographical distribution of food establishments as well as the work plan of the Section,” said Al Tahir.


“Some Administrative Order visits were also carried out in accordance with the instructions issued by the Head of Food Inspection Section or the Food Safety Department to verify the technical and hygiene status of some food establishments and to ensure that there are no products contrary to the terms of trade and also to hand over circulars on the application of certain hygiene requirements, and circulars for the withdrawal of violating products imported to the food establishments,” he said.


Al Tahir explained that the employees in the Section respond to public complaints received through the Municipality’s Call Center Toll-free number, 800900, which is open 24 hours a day, to receive complaints and suggestions. “Our overall response rate for public communications was 100%,” he pointed out.


Al Tahir praised the efforts made by the various inspection teams in the Section, which produced positive results. He promised to exert more efforts to achieve the vision of the Food Safety Department’s vision of “Sustainable Control for Safe Food,” using the best global food control systems.


He said that inspections during the year focused on risk analysis and the separation of administrative and technical violations in determining the assessment of the establishment. “If any serious violation is committed, it receives a red card. This card affects its final evaluation. It has to modify its status within a certain period, to get a high rating,” said Al Tahir.

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