Dubai: Visitors to Global Village will be assured of better food safety with a new smart mobile lab doing spot testing to minimise the risk of food-borne illnesses.

The first mobile-food testing lab in the country was launched during the opening ceremony of the 12th Dubai International Food Safety Conference on Monday just ahead of the opening of Global Village on Tuesday.

Mariam Saeed Hareb Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Food Security and Dawood Al Hajiri, Director General of Dubai Municipality inaugurated the lab.

Al Hajiri told Gulf News that the lab will be first placed in Global Village, which has several food outlets open for six months.

“This smart lab will considerably reduce the food testing time. We will have more such labs to cover major events and festivals and the Expo 2020 site in the future.”

Farida Mohammad, head of Food Microbiology Analysis Unit at Dubai Central Lab, said food samples can be tested on the spot in the smart lab in two days as against the current timeframe of five working days.

“The high-tech machines used for food sample testing can test over 100 samples a day.”

High risk food items such as ready-to-eat meals and salads, which are popular in Global Village food outlets will undergo tests based on risk assessment done by good inspectors on the site.

Food-borne pathogens like salmonella will be detected quickly and any chance of food poisoning outbreak can be contained, officials said.

In future, the service of the mobile-food lab will be used at Dubai Airshow and sites and tourist spots where big events and festivals are held.

With several thousands of food items registered on the Food Watch digital platform of the Food Safety Department, it is a challenge to conduct lab tests to ensure food safety, said Noura Al Shamsi, head of Applied Nutrition and Permits at the department.

“We intend to overcome those challenges with the use of this smart mobile lab,” she said.