The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has intensified inspections of local food 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 hypermarkets and popular kitchens, in addition to food establishments, especially butcheries, a statement said. 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.
With regard to the control of imported food, the MoPH statistics recorded the checking of up to 534,534,971kg of food during the first quarter of 2024, with 404,621,442kg released after proving their compliance with the requirements, while 7,322,183kg were rejected and 10,311kg destroyed after being found unfit for consumption.
Due to the increase in the number of food consignments to Qatar during this period, the number of food inspectors at land, sea and air ports has been increased. The health units at the ports also work round 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 in accordance with standard operating procedures that have obtained international accreditation from the American Accreditation Council (ANAB) in accordance with the international standard ISO 17020 (ISO:17020).
In order 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 which also work under the shift system throughout Ramadan to increase its capacity in line with the intensification of control procedures.
In order to consolidate the principle of "food safety is a shared responsibility", the MoPH Food Safety Department is constantly promoting a culture of food safety among the various stakeholders in the food process, including consumers and food establishments, and virtual workshops are organised for representatives of food establishments and food handlers, the statement added.
Related Story