ADAFSA Issues Food Safety Guidelines
The government authorities in Abu Dhabi have issued a list of guidelines on preparing, packaging, handling, and delivering food safely in the city amidst the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
In order to enhance awareness among businesses and general public regarding best food safety practices, the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), has released detailed guidance on the necessary measures, and good hygiene practices that restaurants and retail outlets should adopt to ensure food safety and maintenance of the consumer health.
The director at ADAFSA’s Legislation Division, Dr. Mohammed Salman Al Hammadi, said that the recently released guide provides the food facilities with important guidance on how to prepare, handle and deliver food safely, and the best hygiene practices that should be adopted when cleaning and disinfecting facilities and using protective gear/ equipment, to maintain health of workers as well as consumers.
The document contains five main sections focusing on personal hygiene of staff and customers, managing operations in restaurants, retail stores and other food-related facilities, managing delivery of food orders and receiving meals, in addition to a section containing guidelines specifically meant for consumers.
The guide document has been issued in three languages including English, Arabic and Urdu. The document includes best practices based on the latest scientific studies of the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) for fighting Covid-19, and to ensure safety of customers as well as food handlers in addition to improving the levels of food safety in restaurants and other food-related facilities.
The guide also provides a mechanism for handling and reporting any situation indicating symptoms of coronavirus among food workers, by informing the managers/ supervisors of the facilities where the workers having the Covid-19 symptom works, to ensure necessary actions are taken in time to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
The guide document provides significant information regarding the relationship between food products and coronavirus, including providing evidence-supported answers to a number of inquiries raised in this regard. The document includes the most important controls and guidelines, which one should know about in order to prevent the virus from spreading among food facility employees and customers, by implementing a management system to ensure food safety. This requires cleaning and sanitization of restaurants and other food related facilities, monitoring facility operations on a daily basis, ensuring physical distancing between workers, using protective gear, educating workers regarding Covid-19, and modifying work procedures to ensure that level of food safety is enhanced.
Additionally, the guidelines provide a set of instructions to ensure food safety like using appropriate packages for packing food, the use of suitable vehicles for delivering the packed food to customers, ensuring commitment of delivery staff to follow the necessary measures recommended during the process of delivering food especially when passing the items ordered to the consumers.