Health For AllIs Your Suhoor Safe? Qatar Steps Up Food Safety During Ramadan

Is Your Suhoor Safe? Qatar Steps Up Food Safety During Ramadan

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Qatar- March 2024- The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) Qatar has intensified control over local food and its outlets to ensure the safety of products that are handled, marketed, and consumed during the holy month of Ramadan, in addition to tightening control over food consignments imported from abroad at air, sea, and land ports.

Health surveillance has been intensified on the establishments most visited by consumers, such as consumer associations, (hypermarkets) and popular kitchens, in addition to food establishments, especially butcheries. Also, the population density has been taken into account while choosing the locations of establishments included in the food inspection campaigns to ensure the highest possible level of food safety during the holy month.

The uniqueness of the month of fasting, during which the consumption pattern changes, was also considered, as consumers increasingly demand certain foodstuffs.

With regard to the control of imported food, the MoPH statistics recorded the control of up to 534 million and 534 thousand and 971 kilograms of food during the first quarter of 2024, and 404 million and 621 thousand and 442 kilograms of them were released after proving their compliance with the requirements, while 7 million and 322 thousand and 183 kilograms were rejected and 10 thousand and 311 kilograms were destroyed after it was proven that they violated the requirements of the relevant technical regulations and standards.

Due to the increase in the number of food consignments to the State of Qatar during this period, the number of food inspectors at land, sea and air ports has been increased to support the inspection schedule so that the monitoring process is effective. The health units at the ports also work around the clock on a shift system to ensure the smooth and fast control process and the flow of goods in a manner that covers the needs of the market.

Local inspections and port inspections are carried out using the electronic (Watheq) system and following standard operating procedures that have obtained international accreditation from the American Accreditation Council (ANAB) in accordance with the international standard ISO 17020 (ISO:17020).

To ensure the safety of food and its compliance with the requirements and standards, inspectors at outlets and in local food establishments take samples that are examined at the MoPH Food Safety Laboratory and the shift system has been adopted inside the laboratory throughout the month of Ramadan to increase its capacity in line with the intensification of control procedures.

Also Read: Saudi Food Bank and Kiri Collaborate to Provide 20,000 Meals during Ramadan

It is noteworthy that the Food Safety Laboratory has completed the re-evaluation process by the American Accreditation Board (ANAB) of the requirements of the Standard for Analytical Laboratories and guidelines ISO 17025:2017 and AOAC for the main laboratory and sub-laboratory at Hamad Sea Port. The scope of accreditation in the main laboratory and sub-laboratories has also been increased from 74 analytical methods to 82 internationally accredited analytical methods.

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