The number of high-risk food establishments rated as 'excellent' in Dubai has trebled in the past year, according to the latest statistics released by Dubai Municipality.
A total of 1,889 food outlets in Dubai received the municipality’s 'excellent' rating in 2016, a 243% increase on the 2015 figure of 550 food outlets.
“Out of a total of 20,000 food establishments in Dubai, 1,446 received A Grade and 443 qualified for the prestigious A+ rating during 2016. Both these grades are counted as Excellent. The rest of the establishments received B, C, D and E ratings according to their performances,” said Sultan Ali Al Tahir, head of food inspection section at Dubai Municipality.
Al Tahir explained that the high risk establishments represented hotels and big restaurants with large quantities of food preparation.
“The increased number of excellent rating was the result of the implementation of strategic food safety programs for the food establishments in the emirate and their adherence to our procedures to raise the hygiene and technical standards to reach this advanced level,” he said.
"This system targets the risks related to the food chain from raw materials to the consumer table," he added.
Al Tahir said for "low-level establishments", the municipality used its 'Intelligent Inspection Program', which was designed to identify, figure out and analyse the technical and hygiene risks, as well as to process them by developing radical solutions, in addition to applying the best practices in food safety.
"This has contributed significantly in raising the level of evaluation of the food establishments. The Hygiene Supervisor Program has resulted in reducing the total number of food outlets with low rating to 4% only,” he said.
Al Tahir said 198 food outlets were closed temporarily during the past year due to high-risk violations.
“They were temporarily closed to let them modify their status and improve the technical and hygiene levels. A large number of them were allowed to re-start the work, after meeting the technical specifications and the necessary hygiene requirements,” he said.
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