(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Don't waste food during Ramadan and ensure that the food consumed during the holy month is healthy and safe, Dubai Municipality's different departments have told businesses and residents.
Strict guidelines for ensuring food safety and proper waste management have been issued by the Food Control and Waste Management departments respectively. The Food Control Department has asked restaurants, bakeries, cafeterias, catering services and shops selling traditional sweets and snacks not to display them outside the shops, without securing its permit in advance.
Director of the department Khalid Mohammed Sharif Al Awadhi said all the food shops have been asked not to process, heat or cook items outside the establishments. Shops are also strictly warned not to display and sell food items before (at most) two hours from the time of Iftar. The final cooking process should have been done before (at most) two hours before selling it.
"As part of the municipality's implementation of best practices in the field of food safety, the department has already fixed many conditions in food production and processing. During Ramadan, we are more alert not to allow any food-related incidents" said Al Awadhi.
The rules stipulate that food items should be displayed only inside highly efficient hot-holding cabinets made in accordance with adequate health and safety requirements and specifications.
Workers should definitely maintain personal cleanliness and hygiene. If not having the specified temperature-control in place, the displayed items should not at all contain high-risk items like meat, chicken and fish.
Snacks should be displayed in food cabinets specially made for food storage and display spots should be neat and far from any possible external contamination. The municipality has asked the establishments to submit application for displaying and selling snacks with attaching list of products to sell, at the municipality centre in Al Twar. Fee for this is Dh210. Public can contact the municipality toll-free hotline 800900 if any violation is found in this regard.
Meanwhile, the Waste Management Department is all geared up for Ramadan by intensifying inspections and increasing the use of tools and equipment. The department is also offering free services and spreading awareness messages to maintain the highest level of cleanliness during the holy month.
Abdul Majeed Al Saifaie, Director of the department, said that a monitoring system has been deployed to work round-the-clock to cover the notifications and complaints as well as to oversee the work flow in the entire sites.
"Apart from the regular services, the department has formed an emergency team equipped with advanced facilities to receive and take action on the urgent notifications and complaints in addition to a special beach monitoring team," Saifaie said. "We urge the public to reduce the waste as much as possible... Consuming less food is good to be healthy during Ramadan and keep the emirate clean."
The department has also issued a leaflet to educate the public on how to reduce the waste especially during Ramadan. "The department will focus on cleaning drainages, express ways and public health utilities. It will also undertake transportation of bulk wastes free of cost directly from the houses. This facility can be availed on requesting through the customer care centre of the civic body," the official added.
Specific waste treatment areas are prepared in Al Qusais, Bayadha and Jebel Ali to work round-the-clock in addition to the services of hazardous and medical waste treatment scheduled from 7am to 12noon.
Moreover, there would be educational and awareness programmes for the public through smart phones, emails and radio and TV channels to reduce the waste through the rationalisation of spending and avoiding lavishness in daily purchases.