DUBAI // Failure to keep food cool was the biggest cause of food poisoning last year, according to Dubai Municipality.
It was closely followed by poisoning resulting from raw and cooked food being handled together.
"This is common in Dubai," said Bobby Krishna, the municipality's senior food studies and surveys officer. "We found a mop placed next to where pots are washed and vegetables being washed in the meat cutting area. This is not hygienic."
Other problems included poor disinfection of vegetables, and lack of hand hygiene. The latter, said Mr Krishna, was "the most important thing to prevent the spread of illness" said Mr Krishna. "Every food outlet should have an accessible hand wash area."
He said cleaning and disinfection were next on the list. Every establishment should have four differently coloured cutting boards for various types of food.
Record keeping was also vital, he said. "People sometimes write the temperature of the food before writing which product it is. This is not reliable."
Occasionally, retailers do not take note of complaints about their food, so problems are never dealt with.
Germs lurk, too, in dirty uniforms, which are often left overnight in kitchens and worn for days on end.
"It's probably the dirtiest thing you can find in the kitchen," said Mr Krishna. "Managers should provide a number of uniforms."