ABU DHABI // Only one in 10 restaurants in the Tourist Club area meets hygiene standards, an investigation has revealed. One particular restaurant - inspectors declined to name it - was fined for 20 food safety offences, including placing insecticides near cooking equipment, having broken ceramic in the kitchen that could cause insect infestations, using uncovered rubbish bins and defrosting food poorly.
The campaign is part of a strategy by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), which is targeting areas based on the frequency of customer complaints. "In view of the soaring complaints from consumers about the poor quality of food served in many restaurants in the Tourist Club area of the city of Abu Dhabi, ADFCA conducted an intensive inspection campaign in the area," the agency said in a statement.
Last month, the authority focused on Musaffah. Officials had been concerned that a lack of cleanliness could lead to outbreaks that could sicken thousands of labourers. The eastern area of Abu Dhabi, which includes the Tourist Club area, is responsible for about half of the complaints of poor food quality in the capital. Inspectors say this is because there are many smaller establishments in the area and many of their workers are not well versed in food hygiene.
Many restaurants were found to have sewage water in their kitchens and poor insect control. Some restaurants, however, were unhappy with the inspection procedures. One restaurateur said inspectors were too strict. He objected to warnings over using a new piece of cloth for cleaning and using wrongly coloured boards for chopping meat - to prevent the use of the same board to mix meat and vegetables. "If you want 100 per cent, there are no angels walking the Earth," he said.