Dubai eateries' traffic light-style stickers

Eateries will soon display their Dubai Municipality grading. (Supplied)

Stepping out to eat out? Worried if the quality is up to the mark? Fret not. Dubai Municipality will soon unveil a unique method to help you choose wisely and wipe out any threat of consuming contaminated food.

Come 2015, restaurants in Dubai will have to display their grading from the food inspectors.

Apart from the standard rating of A, B, C, D, and E, (with A for the best, and E for the worst), eateries will also be given colour stickers to mark their achievements, or the lack of it.

“The colour rankings will change depending on each restaurant’s working conditions, and is not reflective of their scores from the inspection,” explains Bobby Krishna, Principal Food Studies officer at Dubai Municipality.

Green is for ‘pass’, Yellow for ‘conditional pass’ and red is for ‘fail’.

The green sticker shows the thumbs-up sign, and indicates everything is of top quality and safe to consume, while the yellow sign shows the eatery has committed two violations and would need a review by the food inspectors within a specific time so that “corrective action” has been carried out.

The red sticker shows that the eatery has recorded “critical violations” that could cause a direct impact on food safety.

It suggests immediate “corrective action” that need to be sent to the municipality within a stipulated time.

“Green is for no violations, and suggests it has no impact on human health. The yellow implies some procedures have gone out of control. And, red indicates some procedures need to be stopped, and revised,” Krishna elaborated.

“These colour codes are not constant and will keep the restaurateurs on their toes,” he told Emirates 24|7.

“So, if a restaurant gets green, it doesn’t mean they can rest on their laurels. If we find a violation, they could slip down, and get a yellow sticker.

“It also motivates the ones with the yellow sticker and red to move up the ranks if they showed improvement.”

The colour stickers, he believes, will help consumers be more aware, and lead to good public health.

“These stickers will play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of the restaurant-goers,” informs Basheer Hassan, food safety expert at Dubai Municipality.

Although he was unable to give a timeline, he hinted that the big reveal should come into play early 2015.

Hassan clarified that there is no plan to phase out all those ranked E. “Our business is not to shut down eateries.

“We will try to find a solution and guide them adequately, but if we see that there is no improvement, and they pose a hazard to public health, then we will be forced to take action.”

He added, “We want to set a great example. We have a remarkable great city, with so much facilities and services, and we have people coming in from all over the world, so we want to provide them with a great environment. And this is just a step towards that.”

According to Krishna, the inspectors are currently being trained and briefed on the checklist for the inspections.

He added that this system isn't unique to Dubai, and many cities in the UK and US have used similar tools. “But, we will innovate and make it unique in our own way.”

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