The Dubai Municipality is intensifying its monitoring, the recent uproar over the deaths of two children through food poisoning. The Dubai Municipality has stepped up its inspection after the most famous case which resulted in the deaths of siblings Chelsea and Nathan D’Souza. They also recently conducted a Food Safety awareness campaign, “Food Safety is our Priority”. The food that allegedly caused the death of the D’Souza siblings was supplied from a Chinese restaurant in Al Qusais, have reported lower sales due to public concern about food safety.
The Food Control Department of Dubai Municipality organized an awareness drive to educate students, undergoing summer training in the civic body. The children were taught basic elements of food safety and the importance of healthy practices when preparing or handling food. Their main focus was on the children of employees and the drive was organized as a part of the Municipality’s keenness to spread health awareness among the younger generation.
The Food Awareness and Education Unit’s program was not only limited to educating students but was extended to educate the general public in various shopping malls. In addition to co-operation between the various government departments, these programs were part of a series of activities that were undertaken by the Food Awareness and Education unit.
Restaurants in Dubai have been advised by the Dubai Municipality to install new bane Maries and chillers to keep food at appropriate temperatures. All restaurants are required to have a (PiC), trained “Person in Charge” for monitoring food storage and preparation. As the authorities say that the main problem arises with temperature control, contamination and food poisoning if the food is not stored properly. Temperature control of food in high-risk outlets such as restaurants, Catering Companies, hotels, cafeterias is a serious problem especially with hot food undergoing bulk-cooking processes. Thousands of restaurants will be given food hygiene lessons by Dubai Municipality to improve their standards of cleanliness.
Unilever alongside the authority is working on delivering a “tool kit” with lessons on ensuring food safety and cleanliness in the kitchen, a free program to reach about 4,000 restaurants with material that is easy to understand and access both via Dubai Municipality’s inspectors and websites. The tool kit includes posters in three different languages- Malayalam, Arabic and English- the staff can place in their kitchens to remind everyone of food safety and hygiene.