Dubai: The civic body has stepped up inspections of more than 100 traditional kitchens as the month of Ramadan approaches, to ensure that health and safety standards are adhered to.

Sultan Al Taher, head of food inspection at Dubai Municipality, said it had visited up to 113 traditional kitchens in Dubai, including Mandi outlets, to pursue the best practices to ensure high food safety levels.

Al Taher explained that the municipality was currently evaluating every single public kitchen to ensure whether they were following the regulations and instructions to protect consumer rights.

“As Ramadan is just a call away, we understand the importance of raising our security systems to ensure food safety, and this call for public awareness comes as part of our keenness on food safety and consumer protection,” said Al Taher

According to Al Taher, the municipality has given basic instructions to public kitchens that should be adhered to during Ramadan.

He pointed out that public kitchens are required to appoint a trained health supervisor and that the safety of the building with regards to roofs, walls, floorings, lighting and air circulation has to be up to international standards.

“As part of our procedure to ensure that all the public kitchens are following our regulations, they have to allocate an appropriate and separate space for preparation, storage and display of food, in addition to ensuring that workers are maintaining personal hygiene, holding occupational health cards and also have basic training on food safety,” said Al Taher.

Further requirements include ensuring that all equipment used in preparation, storage and display are complying with approved standards, and to keep a register for raw meats to know where from they have come from,

“Once the food items are delivered and received, shopkeepers have to make sure that the products are kept at an appropriate temperature so that the food will not get spoilt. This also includes the temperature in transportation vehicles, which are required to comply with the municipal specifications and standards,” he added.