Food safety drive ahead of Ramadan

A Makkah Municipality official checks the temperature in which stored fruit is kept.

A Makkah Municipality official checks the temperature in which stored fruit is kept.

The Makkah Municipality has intensified inspection campaigns to ensure public health and safety during the holy month of Ramadan. Public parking lots at the entrance of the holy city, cleaning of the city’s streets, maintaining the sanitation of the seasonal public toilets are some services included in its agenda besides the opening of a crisis management center to deal with emergency situations.

Additional resources have been mobilized to maintain a strict vigil on food outlets, shops and roadside vendors selling traditional fried delicacies to ensure they comply with the health and hygiene regulations.

Osama Al-Zaitoony of Makkah Municipality said that the authorities are fully prepared to deal with any violations affecting public health.

He said that the municipality would step up its inspections of supermarkets, food outlets and shops as well as restaurants and cafeterias to ensure that health, safety and hygiene standards were being met at all times.

“Surprise inspections will be carried out by food inspectors as part of an intensified Ramadan program, to ensure sellers abide by health rules during the fasting month,” Zaitoony said.

He said that because fried food was frequently consumed during Ramadan, the section would focus on the quality of oil used to fry food and to make sure that health and hygiene rules were being adhered to in food storage and preparation areas.

Zaitoony said that the teams were also ensuring that food is cooked and stored at the right temperatures, to avoid the risk of spoiling or causing food poisoning.

“Since Ramadan is in the summer this year, the exceptionally high temperatures and increased humidity makes the food more vulnerable to spoiling if not cooked or stored properly,” he said.

The municipality confirmed that it has fully equipped abattoirs and related facilities to receive any number of animals to be slaughtered and the Ministry of Agriculture is being consulted on the state of the animals’ condition.

Al-Zaitoony also said that the municipality has mobilized 8,500 workers in addition to its regular work force to clean the streets of the holy city during Ramadan. A special cleanliness action plan has been prepared for central Makkah where the Grand Mosque is located.

Forty-five special compressors will be placed around the Grand mosque area to compress the waste as movement of the garbage collection trucks in the area will be difficult. Moreover, 350 pest control spray teams to eradicate mosquitoes and other insects will be deployed in the city during the holy month, he added.





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