Dubai food inspectors close 31 outlets

    Lack of education no excuse for food safety violators during Ramadan
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    The Holy Month is a time of recurring food safety problems according to senior Dubai food safety officer.
    The Holy Month is a time of recurring food safety problems according to senior Dubai food safety officer.

    Dubai health and safety inspectors have forced the closure of 31 food outlets in the emirate, during the Holy Month of Ramadan, following inspections by Dubai Municipality.

    The offending outlets were fined and will be unable to open again until they comply with regulations set by the Municipality’s food safety officers.

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    According to Dubai Municipality senior food health officer Abdul Aziz Bashir the majority of outlets closed were restaurants and small cafes; he added that the problem seemed to reappear every Ramadan and was often related to a lack of education.

    “It’s the major issue during Ramadan,” he noted. “Some operators have a low level of education.”

    But Bashir issued a warning, stating that a lack of education was irrelevant.

    “When they meet the standards we will allow them to reopen,” he said.

    “Most food outlets are complying,” he added. “Some, however, are violating as owners fail to meet health and safety requirements.”

    Bashir said that inspectors had been “very strict” this year in handing out fines and closing offending outlets.

    Recurring problems cited by the Municipality’s senior inspector, include outlets displaying food outside the premises two hours before Iftar and the failure by some outlets to implement satisfactory temperature control for food.

    “It’s important for hot food to be hot and cold food to be cold,” he advised. “Outlets must ensure the safety of their food offerings during Ramadan.”

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