Why is food safety necessary for food establishments in UAE?
The UAE is home to several restaurants tied up with popular American fast-food chains. Because this region sees many tourists every year, the highest food safety protocols are critical. Therefore, food safety and cleanliness play a vital role in ensuring that the food is safe. Without proper food safety standards, your customers are likely to fall sick with food poisoning and foodborne illnesses.
Maintaining proper food safety and hygiene practices is essential to ensuring the customers' good health. Offering excellent food health goes a long way so that customers can dine out and consume food without worrying about the potential risks. In addition, setting good safety standards will help prevent infection in food, avoid cross-contamination, adhere to the rules and regulations, and protect the company's track record and brand image.
The most highly coveted foods across the UAE undergo laborious processes like transportation, logistics, storage space facilities, etc. As a result, the food items are vulnerable to spoilage as they can be exposed to microorganisms and impurities that can later lead to contaminated food. Such incidences typically happen if food items have not been stored well or have been poorly handled in the food preparation process. In addition, not holding the food items at the appropriate temperatures and the food constantly being exposed to changing temperatures can pose a risk. This is especially true if things are being stored in the refrigerator door. Such items are likely to have changing temperatures, which are attributed to the door being open and then shut again, thereby making it difficult for those food items to maintain a cold enough temperature to eliminate changes in bacterial growth.
When the food quality has been compromised and is accidentally served to your guests, it might put your customers' health in harm's way. Not only will it lead to severe consequences for the customers' health, but it will also have repercussions on the credibility and ethics of the restaurant management, thereby leading to a loss of sales.
Therefore, safety and hygiene protocols should be given utmost priority at various food production levels. Furthermore, at every level of the food supply chain, food items should undergo a thorough evaluation to ensure that everything is in order. It is also worth noting that consistency and dedication are the way to go. Such factors should take precedence in the handling and evaluation of food to produce the finest quality for their customers.
Food safety protocols in the UAE
The UAE is a popular tourist destination, and Dubai has been identified as a leading city in the urban emerging markets both in terms of consumer discretion and purchase parity. Given that the UAE has a very mature and dynamic food industry, its government has had to put extra precautionary measures. So, to tackle the food safety discourse, the municipal bodies have implemented proactive steps to increase food awareness and collaboratively produce solutions to several industries that are explained in the following:
- Having a presence of governing bodies for food regulations
A number of health and safety governing bodies are responsible for overseeing protocols that are followed. These bodies include Dubai Municipality for Dubai Food Imports, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Ministry of Health for Medical Devices and Medicines Regulation, etc.
- Implementing Persons in Charge (PIC) at restaurant premises which means that there would be a person responsible for carrying out food standards at the place of consumption. This can be done through food safety management, food hazard prevention, and food handling best practices.
- Enacting regulations for packaging and labeling in UAE.
Food safety violations in the UAE
It was recently reported that two restaurants in Abu Dhabi had been shut down due to food hygiene rules and regulations violations. Upon inspection, the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) have deemed these restaurants a danger to public health. In addition, health officials have noted failure to carry out hygiene methods during food preparation. This included all manners of health code violations ranging from the use of dirty equipment to prepare food, a lack of programs to control insects, pests, and rodents, and a lack of restaurant hygiene in general. Authorities have further asserted that the administrative closure orders will remain until the violations are rectified. The restaurant facilities adhere to the food health and safety requirements to ensure that public health isn't compromised.
Suffice to say that food health and safety standards are given top priority in the UAE. Any non-compliances in restaurants could potentially endanger the health and lives of consumers and lead to strict action by the health officials, as indicated in the aforementioned restaurants.
What are some common issues that restaurants in the UAE are likely to face?
The local health departments conduct random inspections to ensure the correct protocols in managing the restaurants. These inspections are usually carried out twice a year and in the case of customer complaints regarding safety standards.
Bad customer reviews
In this digital era, customers share their opinions and experiences on many social media platforms like Facebook, Google business listings, etc. So, if your dish has not performed well, then the customer is at liberty to post their negative reviews on social media platforms that many people likely view. A little can go a long way, so it becomes all the more critical to provide the best quality food and service at your establishment.
Lawsuits could be expensive in terms of money and also damage your reputation among your current and prospective customers. Ensure food safety standards and hygiene practices to serve better food for your customers.
Streamline processes with AI-enabled innovations
The rise of technological innovations has called for more effective streamlining of operations, informed decision making, and allowing restaurant employees to be more efficient. In addition, with technological advancements such as video intelligence being increasingly integrated into food safety, restaurant owners can now make the necessary efforts to ensure that employees properly adhere to hygiene guidelines and procedures.
When your restaurant is tasked with video intelligence, you'll be better positioned to maintain hygiene and cleanliness protocols. This can best be explained if employees aren't following the established hygiene regulations such as wearing gloves, hairnets, aprons, etc. In such circumstances, AI solutions will help improve these hygiene procedures and better identify staff members who might require additional food safety training or aren't taking the policies seriously.
Wobot.ai provides the best practices and real-time insights that help improve overall customer experiences at the restaurant. Our comprehensive video intelligence system will allow restaurant businesses to leverage the data gathered by the security surveillance network, which would lead to better decision-making capabilities. When you have smart security cameras that integrate AI–driven video intelligence, this will mean that operators can keep track of and analyze visitor and employee behavioral patterns to ensure the day-to-day restaurant operations can be better optimized.