(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Dubai Municipality has given a one-year deadline for three-star hotels in the emirate to implement an action plan to adopt new sets of food safety criteria framed for them.
Sultan Ali Al Tahir, Head of the Food Inspection Section at the Food Control Department of the municipality, announced this at a specially organised meet with the managers and representatives of food establishments operating in various three-star hotels and luxury hotel apartments in Dubai, the civic body said on Sunday.
With three-star hotels forming nearly 40 per cent of the hotel establishments in Dubai, Al Tahir noted that it is very important to have direct communication with this category while weighing food safety aspects.
"As these establishments are considered one of the prime faces of the emirate from tourists' point of view, we have to be more careful about any possible risks," he added. Explaining the details of the action plan, he said it contains three major phases of implementation.
The first phase, which has already begun, is the appointment of PICs (Persons in Charge) for food safety in food establishments. Maintaining communication with the government bodies concerned, supervising activities of food preparation and serving at the establishment and ensuring the implementation of requirements for safe food handling fall under the responsibility of PICs.
Al Tahir said the municipality, in collaboration with globally known agencies, has been carrying out training sessions to qualify and certify the appointed PICs.
According to him, 95 per cent of the establishments have already been covered the first phase.
The second phase focuses on the basic safety requirements needed in kitchens of each food establishment. It includes a hygiene programme, a pest control programme and a system to safely handle raw materials.
The last stage, he said, which should be finished by end of September 2013, consists of a set of programmes concerned with handling different food items according to the risk factor they bear.
Requirements fixed for handling and preparing vegetarian and non-vegetarian items, specification of temperature levels for cooking different items, instructions to avoid risk of cross contamination and the like come under the targets of this final phase.
Representatives of about 75 food establishments operating at three-star hotels and luxury hotel apartments participated in the meeting.