UAE | Health

Watch what’s on your shopping cart

Regulator highlights food safety aspects in new campaign

  • By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 18:55 July 21, 2012
  • Gulf News

Shopping
  • Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News
  • The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority advises shoppers to clean the handles of the shopping carts before using them. A study has revealed that shopping trolleys contain more dirt and grime than a public toilet.

Abu Dhabi: A shopping cart at a supermarket may harbour more germs than a public washroom. The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) is attempting to bring such risks to the attention of the public through a food safety awareness campaign with particular focus on Ramadan.

A senior official told Gulf News that the ADFCA hopes a sustained campaign on the issue may ultimately prompt retail outlets to provide sanitiser units or tissues for shoppers to wipe the handles of shopping trolleys before using them.

“We can’t make regulations on each and every thing because it is not practical. But when shoppers are aware of this issue, the retail outlets will be compelled to make arrangements to keep shopping carts clean to attract shoppers,” said Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, director of communication and community affairs at ADFCA. 

“That’s why we highlight this issue again although we had discussed it in the past,” he said on the sidelines of a press conference to announce the new food safety awareness campaign.

Hidden food risks are the main focus of the campaign,  Mouza Suhail Al Muhairi, executive director of the food safety sector at ADFCA, said at the press conference.
The campaign is aimed at raising public awareness to preempt the occurrence of food-related illnesses during the fasting month either through direct contamination of food or lack of hygiene in food-handling areas and devices, she said.

Through the campaign, the ADFCA seeks to inculcate good shopping and consumption habits and draw the attention of consumers to the types of foods that require a good deal of caution and care during their purchase, transportation and storage.

The ultimate objective of the campaign is to make individual consumers think and act like food safety monitors, Al Reyaysa said.

The campaign will involve mass media advertisements besides distribution of brochures and other information material at malls and shopping centres.

Food safety tips

During shopping

  • Separate foods and detergents etc.
  • Always check expiry dates of food products
  • Read food labels while buying canned foods.
  • Do not mix meat and vegetables.
  • Do not pick up milk and dairy products at the beginning of shopping.

 
After reaching home

  • Put raw foods into the fridge as soon as possible.
  • Do not keep food on the table for two hours or more.
  • Do not keep refrigerated food outside the fridge for long. 
  • Do not mix cooked and raw foods.

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