Abu Dhabi: In an inspection campaign aimed at ensuring low-income workers do not eat food unfit for consumption, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) on Thursday closed down a grocery store in an industrial area for gross violations of food safety rules.
“Out of 27 groceries and supermarkets in Mussafah industrial area visited by the inspectors, 17 were compliant with all rules and regulations but one was closed down for serious violations,” a senior official told Gulf News on Thursday.
“ Out of 27 groceries and supermarkets in Mussafah industrial area visited by the inspectors, 17 were compliant with all rules and regulations but one was closed down for serious violations” Tweet this
Nine other grocery stores and supermarkets were issued warnings for minor violations, said Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Service at Abu Dhabi, ADFCA.
He did not have the name and further details of the closed grocery store as he was still awaiting the detailed report from the inspection team at the time of going to press.
Al Reyaysa said the campaign was part of the authority’s strategy to ensure low-income workers were not at risk from eating food that may harm them.
“In the industrial areas on the outskirts of the city, most of the customers are low-income workers and we have been giving priority to their welfare. And some owners of the supermarkets and owners have a misconception that being away from the city and catering to low-income workers, the authority may not monitor them regularly,” the official explained.
He made it clear that low-income workers not being subjected to unfit food was a high priority for the authority and it was monitoring all outlets selling food in the emirate, whether in the city or on its outskirts.
The official said the warnings were issued for four common violations. Many of the stores had rusted and dirty refrigerators which had to be replaced. Food items were found kept on the floor and under shelves. Poor hygiene was the third common violation. Many of them did not install insect traps near food items.
These violators have been given a chance to rectify matters, Al Reyaysa said.
At a grocery store inspected in the presence of the media, inspectors found things had improved. A senior inspector said he had issued four warnings to the store recently, but on Thursday he found that it had already rectified at least three problems. The remaining issue was temperature variation in the refrigerator and air-conditioner, he said. The fridge containing fresh juice and vegetables had a temperature of 7C but it should have been in the range of zero to five, he explained.
The general temperature of the store should have been cooler, the inspector added.
Al Reyaysa said inspectors visit all food outlets at least once a month. However, if warnings are issued, the number of visits increases, he said. The contact to report violations is 800 555.
— Maisoon Mubarak is an intern with Gulf News.