Premier pledges zero-tolerance on food safety
Manama, July 5, 2012
HRH Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has pledged a zero-tolerance approach against companies that put consumers at risk by violating food safety standards, particularly those selling private meat imports directly to the public.
The Prime Minister met with Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) chairman Dr Essam Fakhro, yeaterday in the presence of Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro.
He called for an increase in co-ordination between the government and private sector to monitor the food trade, and stressed the importance of a unified BCCI to benefit the community.
Meanwhile, Health Ministry officials have warned the people of Bahrain not to buy fruits and vegetables from roadside stalls amid fears they could be risking their health.
Food stored and sold in the scorching heat loses its nutritional values and could cause health problems, saidofficials.
They have also advised people against buying food from unregistered vendors as they could have rotten products, which could risk their well-being.
'There are health risks of eating fruits sold out in the heat, because they are from an unknown source,' said a Health Ministry food control section official. 'Also, we do not know whether they are fresh or not, and old fruits exposed to the heat can lose a lot of its value.
'We carried out an inspection campaign to examine fruit carts in collaboration with the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry, and found out that from 1pm to 4pm, the majority of these carts with fruits and vegetables are kept outside, exposed to the heat and dust.”
'Therefore, the quality of the fruits gets deteriorated due to the oxidation process.”
'We advise people to obtain food from a clean establishment that is registered with the Health Ministry, which can be recognised through the displayed health certificate,' he said.
Vegetables should be stored between -1C and 21C, while fruits between -5C and 14C, according to figures from the Standardisation Organisation for GCC.
“However, Bahrain's hot summer weather makes it impossible to store fresh fruit at the desired temperature,” said Central Municipal Council member Ahmed Al Ansari.
'Many street vendors are not abiding by the rules, which have been initiated by the ministry and Civil Defence. 'They have to obtain the right permission in order to start practising their profession.
'Some of them sell their products around a traffic light junction, which is not only an unpleasant scene but also dangerous, because they can be easily hit by a car,' he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service
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