Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 16 October 2019

Dubai bans restaurants from serving flowers on food

Dubai Municipality has called for an end to the Instagrammable food trend

Mango and orange jellies garnished with edible flowers, strawberries and grapes. AFP   
Mango and orange jellies garnished with edible flowers, strawberries and grapes. AFP   

The use of flowers and petals has been banned in all food and drink preparation in Dubai as of this week.

A new Dubai Municipality bulletin, issued to all food establishments in Dubai, announces the change, which has been issued by the National Food Safety Committee.

In recent years it has become very popular, and Instagrammable, to serve dishes and drinks with floral accessories. Wedding cakes covered in petals are very on-trend, as are rosewater drinks finished with real flowers, flashes of pastel petals in salads and buds frozen into ice cubes and lollies. Even pansy-topped avocado toast is a fairly regular spot on a millennial's plate come brunch (breakfast/lunch brunch, not Dubai brunch).

The change has been brought into effect immediately, and bans the use of "all kinds of natural roses and flowers in the [preparation of] food and beverages which are offered to the public".

The municipality also clarifies that the ban includes flowers "added to the food or [used] for any decorative reasons". It also notes that any eateries that fail to follow the new regulations will face legal consequences but does not detail any exact penalties.

A reason why the ban has been brought in has not been announced by Dubai Municipality. However, the "culinary fad" has been flagged as "potentially dangerous " by British food hygiene company, HSF Training Ltd, when common plants are used in place of edible options.

HSF Training further notes: "Even if flowers are edible, they can still cause illnesses if not washed thoroughly, traces of soil or other contaminants still on a flower could contain pathogens (organisms that cause disease) such as E.coli, Clostridiums Perfingens and Clostridium Botulinum and which can, when ingested, make the consumer very ill."

Updated: July 18, 2019 05:04 PM

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