Be careful where you buy your Ramadan snack: Dubai Municipality

Food outlets should follow certain guidelines when selling snacks in the open

During the Holy month of Ramadan, food outlets are keen to attract customers to select their food items for their anticipated Iftar meal. All the more reason to pay extra attention to food safety.

Every year, the number of outlets selling food items increases as the month of Ramadan approaches. Apart from the options within existing premises, food establishment opt to take their food selection to the streets.

“It is a tradition to display and sell foods outside the establishments during Ramadan. But without prior and due approval from the Food Control Department no food establishment is allowed to display or sell food outside their premises, said Khalid Sharif, Director of the Department at Dubai Municipality.

“As people are very fond of including snack items in their Iftar meals, there are chances they forget from where these are bought and up to what levels of safety and hygiene they are kept,” he said.

In an effort to uphold best practices when it comes to food safety the Department has issued some stringent instructions to food establishments which plan to sell snacks outside their premises during Ramadan.

All foods should be displayed in closed food cabinets that are suitable for food display and storage. Display cabinets must be located in a suitable place adequately protected from external contaminants.

“Food establishments must refrain from preparing, cooking and reheating foods outside the food establishment,” clarified Tahir.

“Foods can be displayed and sold 2 hours before Iftar time. After Iftar time, no foods should be displayed or sold outside premises.”

Food establishments have to submit an application along with the list of snack foods that the they intent to display outside their shops in advance of the Holy Month.

Consumers are warned not to buy food from people or businesses that are not authorised to vendor outside their premises, and to be highly alert when purchasing food items outside a premise.

It is important to know that food that is not cooled or heated should be consumed within 2 hours of preparation, he concluded.

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)

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