Dubai Municipality
Dubai registers a 50 per cent increase in the number of food establishments last year, according to the Dubai Municipality. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News archive

Dubai: Dubai saw a 50 per cent increase in the number of food establishments last year, according to the Dubai Municipality.

The Municipality’s Food Safety Department registered 1,343 new food establishments in 2021, the civic body revealed on Wednesday. “As a result, the number of inspections also increased by 12 per cent compared to 2020. The department has carried out 76,195 inspection visits to food establishments in the emirate last year,” the department said in a press release.

Complaints about violations

The number of notifications received by the Municipality’s Call Center last year was 4,961, an average of 13 reports per day. The civic body said the calls were about violations related to public safety, and others related to non-compliance with the precautionary measures and requirements to confront the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Sultan Ali Al Taher, director of Food Safety Department said that the Municipality has monitored a great level of commitment by food establishments to abide by the procedures and requirements that it has set, in terms of public safety measures during the recent period, due to the increase in campaigns and inspection and awareness visits carried out by the department.

He said that the Municipality was keen to intensify its daily inspection campaigns, and that its inspectors dealt with violations with strict procedures without any complacency.

Inspection visits

During the inspection visits, he said, they scrutinised the daily follow-up records of the health of workers, writing down details of sterilisation and disinfection operations, and making sure that food safety requirements were applied during food receiving, preparation, storage, and display at healthy temperatures. The inspectors also ensure that cleaning and sterilisation procedures are applied to prevent cross-contamination and pest control.

Al Taher noted that the inspectors are working on calibrating the temperature control devices and thermometers in the food establishments. They are also making sure that foods are provided and received from an approved food source with the relevant documents, and appropriate equipment, devices and space according to the food establishment’s activity.

He explained that the Municipality checks food establishments handling various activities, such as restaurants, cafeterias, cafes that offer food, groceries, supermarkets, and bakeries. It also inspects and monitors food delivery vehicles to ensure that they are sterilised, and maintain food safety procedures after each order, and delivery workers change masks and gloves as required.