In the last year, Dubai Municipality carried out a Happiness Inspection aimed at enhancing food safety across the emirate.
During the campaign, it found that 50 per cent out of the 900 food outlets with low-evaluation ratings needed to raise their standard of health and educate their employees on safety conditions in the workplace.
From among the 450 food outlets that received low ratings, 228 institutions are improving their health and safety standards and that 222 institutions have improved their grades from poor to very good.
"Dubai is a vibrant city and is a food oasis for tourists and residents, attracting more than 15 million visitors a year. This number is going to increase as we are about to host Expo 2020,” said Sultan Ali Al Tahir, head of the food inspection section at Dubai Municipality.
“At present, Dubai has 17,000 food establishments and this number is increasing at seven per cent annually. More than 160 nationalities work in the food industry in the emirate, which offers various meals for a variety of population representing different cultures and customs.”
“There are a large number of residents in the emirate who usually eat meals in restaurants or coffee shops. And when it comes to catering to large groups of people, it can be quite complicated to produce such large amounts of food while maintaining the safety of food, which indicates that workers in these food outlets are not qualified or trained properly,” he said.
Through the Happiness Initiative, Dubai Municipality aimed to increase the level of standard of poorly rated food outlets without imposing penalties or fines.
“The initiative focused on supporting these institutions technically, and to ensure the continuity of the development of the hygiene and technical levels through the application of global best practices for food safety and strengthen the concept of self-control,” said Al Taher.