UAE food safety rating up 24pc: ministry
, January 8, 2017
The food safety rating in the UAE has increased 24 per cent in the last three years to reach 98 per cent in 2016 compared to 74 per cent in 2013, said the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE).
This came as a result of combined efforts between the Ministry and the local authorities in issuing the Federal law No.10 of 2015 regarding the food safety, unifying the vision, mission and strategy of the food safety in all emirates of the country, applying a unified manual for monitoring imported food, training employees in food establishments and using a state-of-the-art electronic inspection system, reported Wam, the official Emirates news agency.
In addition, MOCCAE and its strategic partners implemented a project in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in order to promote food safety and enhance consumer confidence in the food safety in line with the UAE national agenda 2021. The project resulted in creating a world class sustainable system to enhance food safety at the national level.
Majd Mohamed Al Herbawi, director of Food Safety Department at MoCCAE, said, "This tangible increase was achieved through several factors, including training inspectors, enhancing financial resources for the implementation of activities and programmes aimed at promoting food safety and control, strengthening channels of communication with consumers, regulators and stakeholders, developing food laboratories and acquiring international accreditation, in addition to promoting control on food relocation, storage and retail facilities, as well as implementing awareness programmes for consumers about best practices in handling food."
"The food safety rating is an index measuring instrument that was set up by the ministry in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, FAO. It consists of 87 components through which to identify the extent of improvement in all aspects concerning food safety system, such as legislation and control systems and the effectiveness of food laboratories, where each element of the index is evaluated according to one of the following levels (excellent, good, needs improvement, weak)," Al Herbawi added.
In early 2015, MoCCAE received an international certification from the FAO for its success in a project to strengthen food safety in the country, launch of a strategic indicator on the food safety rating and the outstanding achievements that contributed to improving the food safety indicator to rise from 74 per cent in 2013 to 84 per cent in 2014.