Khaleej times accompanies the inspectors to Muhaisnah

File photo

By Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Tue, April 26, 2022, 5:50 PM

Restaurants and eateries in Dubai are inspected to ensure they are following the city’s strict food safety rules during the busy Ramadan period.

Khaleej times accompanied Dubai Municipality inspectors on a late night inspection of a popular restaurant in Muhaisnah.

From the reception area to how the food is prepared, DM inspectors conducted a thorough review of the restaurant to ensure all food safety measures were being followed.

The Dubai Municipality strictly monitors the suppliers of all foodstuffs with the aim of regulating food safety. Suppliers are required to install digital devices in their transport vehicles so that the municipality can follow their journey closely.

To make things more transparent, the municipality has a smart system – the FoodWatch platform – which allows them to track food by checking the ingredients and nutritional information of each product. The platform also facilitates the exchange of information between regulatory agencies, food establishments, service providers of these establishments and consumers, using intelligent digital control and data analysis.

Here are some food safety criteria that restaurants must meet to pass the inspection:

  • All vegetables are washed and disinfected individually. Different vegetables cannot be washed together.
  • Disinfection tablets must be used in the right ratio with water.
  • Meat must be moved from a freezer to a cooler before it can be used.
  • Color-coded cutting boards should be used for different types of food like seafood, vegetables, fruits, and meat.
  • Boiled rice should be chilled in a blast chiller or using the ice pan technique for 6 hours
  • Smoked or salted meats and fish, ready-to-eat dishes such as sushi and oysters, soft or molded cured cheeses and others are considered high-risk foods. They are periodically inspected by the Dubai Central Laboratory.

Khaleej times visited the Back to Grills restaurant in Oud Metha, where restaurant staff demonstrated their cleaning and cooking process.

Chef Anish Mathew explained how all vegetables are washed, sanitized, dried and individually stored in coolers which are then labeled with dates. There are simplified rules on the type of disinfectant tablets or liquids to use and their relationship to water. All fresh produce should be consumed within three days.

During a visit to Forever Rose Cafe in Jumeirah, Chef Zeineb Ben Slama demonstrated how meat is prepared and preserved in their restaurant

Besides using separate cutting boards for different types of food, there are strict guidelines on how meat should be stored. Once received, the meat must be stored in the freezer. Before use, the meat should be moved from the freezer to the cooler where it can thaw. Meat can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Once thawed, the meat should be portioned and vacuum-packed for later use.

Dubai Municipality is working closely with federal and local entities to strengthen food supply chains. These efforts contribute to the UAE’s broader goal of improving food security in the country and reaching number one in the Global Food Security Index by 2051.