Dubai Municipality shuts down 44 food outlets temporarily for high-risk violations
The inspection campaign conducted by the Food Inspection Section of the Food Safety Department of Dubai Municipality in the first quarter of this year, gave 975 high-risk food establishments in Dubai an excellent rating (A+ and A) and 44 outlets have been shut down.
Sultan Ali Al Tahir, head of food inspection section, said that these high-risk establishments represented hotels and big restaurants with large quantities of food preparation.
“The increased number of excellent rating was the result of the implementation of strategic food safety programmes for the food establishments in the emirate and their adherence to our procedures to raise the hygiene and technical standards to reach this advanced level, most notably the application of HACCP risk analysis system in all hotels, catering companies, and increasing their effectiveness. This system targets the risks related to the food chain from raw materials to the consumer table,” he said.
He also specified that during the visits the Municipality closed down 44 food outlets temporarily due to high-risk violations.
“Enhancing public confidence in food safety is part of our plans to achieve the strategic objective of food safety management, which is evident in our outstanding achievements. The intensive efforts of the food inspection teams and the smart inspection system in place since 2016 have brought these positive results, which is quite relevant in the context of the Municipality's vision and the Dubai 2021 Plan,” Al Tahir said.
He explained that for the low-level establishments, a new and innovative initiative called the "Happiness Inspection" has been implemented with the main objective of raising the levels and standards of food safety in the target establishments, through technical support and application of the best international practices in the field of food safety.
Al Tahir said that during first quarter of 2018 the inspection teams conducted 5,365 routine visits based on pre-scheduled programmes using the Smart Inspection Programme to ensure that the food outlets comply with the food safety rules and regulations of the Municipality.
“Many follow-up visits were also carried out by the section to focus on the low-ranking establishments in order to raise their technical and hygienic standards and also to follow up the effectiveness of the implementation of the Hygiene Supervisor Program. We conducted 637 such follow up visits during the first quarter of 2018, in addition to 577 random visits,” he said.
“The inspectors conducted these random visits without preparing any schedule in advance while they were present in the inspection areas, and when they noticed any irregularities in the food establishments that may affect public health,” said Al Tahir.
He explained that the employees in thesSection respond to public complaints received through the Municipality's call centre toll-free number, 800900, which is open 24 hours a day, to receive complaints and suggestions.