Ahmed AbdulRahman Al Ali, Head of Food Inspection Section at
Dubai Municipality said that there has been tremendous improvement and qualitative change on the standard of foodstuff establishments in last year as observed in the statistical report 2010 of the section's general inspections and fines system. Dubai
"The report has highlighted a boom of quality improvement in food establishments and also improvement in field performance of the inspectors in the evaluation of establishments as per the strategic directions for the Food Control Department," he said.
"The inspectors tried to keep away from only searching for violations that attract fines and concentrated more towards the implementation of corrective actions that raised the technical and hygienic standard of food establishments and made sure that they complied with the hygienic requirements and conditions and also established the concept of scrutiny for inspectors to ensure safe food in accordance with the vision of the Department (effective control towards safe food)," said Al Ali.
"In addition this, they also focused on creating awareness on healthy food and training staff on best practices to prevent food contamination and causes of food poisoning," he said.
According to Ali the statistical data of the general inspections and fines system confirm marked reduction in the value and the percentage of fines and improvement in the technical and hygienic conditions of the food establishments compared to the previous year.
"This is a good reflection of the success of implementing the directives for the development of inspection systems adopted during the year 2010," he said.
1 – The amount of fines decreased by 50% compared to 2009, and the rates of fines also decreased in relation to the inspection visits, which was 14% by the end of the year 2010 while it was 28% in the year 2009. Therefore the total value of fines also decreased by half by the end of 2010 and this shows the commitment of the large number of food establishments that implemented corrective actions.
2 - The year 2010 saw a significant reduction in the number of violations, as 7,778 violations were monitored last year compared to 14,188 violations in 2009. This decrease explains the commitment of the food establishments to implement best practices and the decrease in repetition of high-risk violations. They kept the food hot and reduced the incidence of cross-contamination, which also is an indication of the commitment of workers in the food establishments to training on the basics of food hygiene and safety.
3 - The rate of inspection visits increased from 28,412 in 2009 to 34,762 routine visits in 2010, and the percentage of coverage of food establishment inspection visits became 98.9% until the end of 2010. This is a positive sign that confirms the dynamism of the system of inspection in the planning and preparation of regular visits and also the commitment of the inspectors to implement the weekly plan programmed for inspection on time despite a steady increase in the number of establishments throughout the year. The number of establishments that have been added in the inspection system during the year 2010 increased by more than 2,000 new establishments and it has reached 13,892 food establishments compared to 11,751 establishments in 2009.
Al Ali praised the efforts made by various inspection teams of the Food Inspection Section, which produced the above positive results. He promised to exert more efforts to achieve the vision of the Food Control Department adopting best international systems in the food control as the safety of food traded is the most important priorities of the Food Inspection Section.