The vendors were selling vegetables, fruits, meat and fish in the open air and without taking into account the rules on safe and hygienic storage, Dubai Municipality said. Image Credit: Dubai Municipality

Dubai: Sixteen illegal vendors were caught and 12 tonnes of goods were seized in a weekend raid by authorities in Dubai's Muhaisnah 2 area.

The goods, including food items, were confiscated during an inspection campaign on random markets by the Environmental Emergency Office aimed at maintaining public health of the Emirate, Dubai Municipality said in a press release on Monday.

“We caught 16 illegal vendors during the inspection, conducted in collaboration with the Waste Management Department of Dubai Municipality, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and Al Ghusais Police Station, who sent an Investigation team along with sniffer dogs of the Dubai Police,” said Mohammad Abbas Al Beloushi, head of Environmental Emergency Office.

He said the Municipality has enhanced control over random markets. “We have confiscated a large number of foodstuffs sold in these markets. They included food that are safe for use and also spoiled food items. The safe foodstuffs will be handed over to charity organisations, as the Municipality has an agreement with Dar Al Ber Society to deliver food to those who need them,” said Al Beloushi.

He said the vendors in these markets were selling vegetables, fruits, meat and fish in the open air and without taking into account the rules of safe and hygienic storage. “The meat and fish were displayed below normal temperatures and without cooling, or putting ice. Some were displayed by the trucks, where they were exposed to dust and pollution,” said Al Beloushi.

He said Dubai Police supported the campaign team with a large number of men to control the inspection process in industrial areas, and in catching offenders in the random markets. The Waste Management Department provided the team with advanced equipment to clear the damaged materials and unfit food that were seized from the spot.

Al Beloushi said the Municipality also carries out annual plans targeting specialised markets, including the Fruits and Vegetables Market, Deira Markets, Cattle Market, and Fish Market to catch the offenders there, explaining that the aim of the inspection campaigns are to deter offenders from selling spoiled food in the markets.

By these campaigns, he said, the Municipality does not aim to deprive workers of the facility of buying cheap goods, but rather seeks to ensure their health and safety, especially since all the campaigns have resulted in finding food items that are sold completely in violation to health and safety requirements.

Al Beloushi explained that these markets are unlicensed. “They offer all types of food unfit for consumption. They are mainly located in three places in the emirate — the Jebel Ali Industrial area, Al Quoz, and Al Muhaisnah. Each of these areas has three to four markets,” he said.