Qatar food outlets and abattoirs under inspection ahead of Ramadan
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Mohammed Ahmed Yousef Al Sayed, Head, Health Control Section, Doha Municipality.
By Sidi Mohamed
DOHA: Ahead of the Holy month of Ramadan, the Doha Municipality has enforced new requirements for slaughter houses and intensified inspection campaigns on all food outlets across the city, a senior official said yesterday.
The round-the-clock inspections will focus on outlets that receive more visitors during the fasting month, said Mohammed Ahmed Al Sayed, head of Health Control Section at Doha Municipality.
“Inspection drives are all along the year and there is no special inspection for Ramadan. What is happening is that during Ramadan more people visit the food outlets. Due to the rush, some outlets especially sweet shops and eateries may not give proper attention to the health standards and requirements. This is forcing us to intensify inspection on such facilities,” Al Sayed told The Peninsula.
He said the Municipality, in collaboration with Widam has introduced new health standards for slaughter houses across the Doha city. They are required to keep the slaughtered meat in a lower height to ensure that they get proper refrigeration.
The walls have been covered with ceramic tiles and the abattoirs are equipped with new cutting machines and hangers, said Al Sayed. Widam has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment to implement the new requirements.
Currently, about 4,500 animals are slaughtered in five abattoirs in the city daily and the number is expected to increase to 5,000 during Ramadan. Since January, a total 346,156 animals were slaughtered at the abattoirs.
“We are going to increase the number of inspectors covering the abattoirs from next week, while a special team of veterinarians has been deployed in the five abattoirs to follow up and check the slaughtered animals,” said Al Sayed.
Al Sayed said the municipality’s inspection team will work in three shifts during Ramadan.
There will be round-the-clock inspections to make sure that outlets preparing Iftar and Suhoor meals during the fasting month meet the health requirements.
Inspections during morning will focus on supermarkets and hypermarkets and food stores in Industrial area. In addition, evening and night inspections will cover eateries, sweet shops and hotels, among others.
Al Sayed said the municipality has conducted a total of 7,568 inspection campaigns from January until April and 57 erring outlets faced temporary closure following the raids.
Most of the violations were detected at restaurants and cafeterias, he added.
“Daily we are inspecting about 120 outlets and more than 2,000 outlets per month.
“On average, four to five food outlets face closure every month, for violating the health regulations,” said Al Sayed.
He said there will be more inspections at the central market because fruits and vegetables are perishables and most of them are imported.
“Daily we destroy tones of rotten fruit and vegetables.
“From January until now we have destroyed more than 907 tonnes of vegetables and fruits that are found not fit for consumption,” said Al Sayed.
He said some meat shops cheat customers by changing the municipality seal showing the price and variety and selling them at higher prices.
“We detect such violations during joint campaigns with the Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy and Commerce,” said Al Sayed.