Foodservice Equipment Reports

Dubai, Abu Dhabi Debut Food Safety Rules

Dubai already has the world’s tallest building. Now, on a more human scale, it plans to address food safety. After nearly 20% of the food imported to Dubai last year had to be destroyed for not meeting food-safety requirements, the country’s foodservice kitchens and food imports will be subject to new regulations.

The new “Person in Charge” program requires that by December 2011, every operation has at least one certified individual—such as the chef or kitchen manager—acting as liaison between the operation, municipality and the Dubai government. The PIC must be on premise and have direct supervision over employees who engage in storage, preparation, display or service of food, according to Khalid Mohamed Sharif, director of the Food Control Department at Dubai Municipality. Candidates must take a three-day training course and pass an exam. Bobby Krishna, the country’s senior food studies and surveys officer and creator of the program handbook, hopes to bring in a North Carolina State University graduate student to evaluate the program. "If we find this useful, it could be used around the world," he said. "No one has done this where inspections, training and industry are integrated."

Also in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi has introduced a program compelling all restaurant and kitchen staff to be trained and certified in food safety by the end of 2012. The crackdown stems from the closure of 18 food outlets and destruction of more than 8,000 tons of food during inspections in the lead-up to Ramadan.