Riyadh skyline, Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: Saudi authorities have seized 7 tonnes of milk unfit for human consumption before they could be made available at the market as part of a high-profile campaign to ensure food safety during the month of Ramadan, inspectors have said.

The seizure was made by inspectors from the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) before the milk could be sold at some restaurants in Riyadh.

“The authority is intensifying its field tours of establishments, especially those dealing in products which are in high demand in Ramadan,” Jehad Al Suhaybani, a senior SFDA inspector, told Saudi state TV Al Ekhbariya.

He added that the seized milk could have been used by some unscrupulous restaurant owners in preparing meals served to unsuspecting customers.

Authorities had managed to seize tonnes of food items unfit for human consumption before they could be put on the table during Ramadan, the television said without giving specific figures.

Saudi authorities have ramped up inspection tours of food service providers across the kingdom in the run-up and during Ramadan when food consumption usually increases.

In Ramadan, which started this year on March 23, Muslims daily end their day-long fast at sunset.

Municipal authorities in the city of Taif in western Saudi Arabia last month detected an unlicensed facility for making pastry inside a laundry.

Inspectors had seized large quantities of pastry and kneaded rolls in the place, which they said had lacked basic hygiene.

Earlier in March, the Taif municipality said its inspectors had registered a total of 8,239 breaches of municipal and health regulations in February during pre-Ramadan field tours of markets, shopping centres, food outlets and restaurants.

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority reported last month seizing over 11 tonnes of food products which are mostly consumed in Ramadan.

Infringements included poor storage, marketing products of unknown origin, or past their sale-by-dates and tampering of nutrition labels.

SFDA said its nationwide tours were launched to ensure safety of food products consumed during Ramadan.