Thursday, November 19, 2009


What a determined food safety agency can achieve is demonstrated by UAE through systematic inspection of food chains, retailers, eateries, meat shops etc which can cause damage to the consumers if the products they are peddling are below the safety standards prescribed. The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, in its recent compliance, has claimed closure of several establishments, imposing fines on safety violators and destruction of sub-standard imported foods at the port of entry itself. Such a reputation for the Authority can be an effective deterrent for future potential violators and consumer confidence on the ability of the agency to protect them increases manifold.

"There were almost 3,000 inspections of restaurants, meat counters, schools, hotels and factories, with 460 warnings being issued, down from more than 1,100 during Ramadan and Eid. The food authority had stepped up its safety campaign during the holy month in anticipation of increased demand for food products. Mr al Reyaysa said he expected fewer food safety problems in the winter than in the summer, when the scorching heat can spoil food".

The system in place imposes graded punishments by first issuing a warning, then levying fines and finally issuing closure notice for repeat violators. The Authority also may also publish the details about those who compromise on food safety for the benefit of the consumers which can create a backlash in the form of boycott of their products. While it is not the intention to terrorize the industry and the retailing players, those who mend their ways are rehabilitated by allowing to reopen the closed units after rectifying the violations for which they were punished.


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