Dubai: Dubai Municipality has asked shoppers and employees at food establishments to strictly follow the COVID-19 safety measures in the days running up to Eid-Al-Fitr.
The warning comes as the civic body on Wednesday announced that it would intensify inspection on food establishments during the period leading up to Eid Al Fitr.
Apart from the eateries, the inspections will also cover confectionery shops, roasteries, bakeries, sweets and chocolate factories, and popular kitchens.
Sultan Ali Al Taher, head of Food Inspection Section at Dubai Municipality, said the intensified campaigns aim to ensure that during the preparation, making, storage, display and transportation processes these establishments apply the best practices that prevent contamination of these products, especially cross-contamination with workers and equipment.
He said the Food Inspection Section has prepared some hygiene requirements and awareness-raising measures for the public to ensure and guarantee the safe handling of the most commonly used food during Ramadan and just before Eid Al Fitr.
“These measures are also aimed at ensuring that food establishments and customers adhere to hygiene requirements and adopt preventive precautionary measures in light of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Al Taher.
Targeted food establishments
He said the Food Inspection campaign will focus more on the targeted food establishments, bakeries, roasteries, sweets and chocolates stores during this period as the demand for these food items will be increased before and during the Eid period from the public and visitors.
“We will be focusing on all practices, the most important of which are preparation, manufacturing and thermal preservation, as well as protecting food from external contaminants,” Al Taher added.
Strictly follow safety measures
“In light of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shoppers and workers in food establishments must strictly adhere to the precautionary measures by wearing masks and keeping social distancing during shopping, and the food establishments must conduct disinfection and sterilisation operations on the surfaces in contact with shoppers,” he warned.
Al Taher explained that the Food Inspection Section started the preparation for the month of Ramadan well ahead of time through qualifying and preparing the staff to check violations that affect public health through field follow-up visits to food establishments forming groups that work on the shift system to schedule shifts throughout the day.
Accumulation of food common violation
“The Food Inspection Section carries out campaigns before and during Ramadan at the most popular sales outlets to ensure that these establishments adhere to the approved hygiene requirements in force in Dubai Municipality.”
He said the inspection teams of the Food Safety Department made 982 inspection visits on those establishments and it was found that 96 per cent of the establishments that were checked were complying with regulations.
“The most common violation was the accumulation of foodstuffs, due to the large number of people buying their needs during the holy month,” he said.