x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

How to treat food poisoning

How to in the UAE: See a doctor immediately if you think you have a case of food poisoning, then report it to government authorities, officials say.

"If it's expired food, then we will physically check the product," says Dubai Municipality's head of studies and food planning.

If you suspect you have been a victim of food poisoning, see a doctor immediately and ask the authorities to investigate.

Government agencies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi will try to find the cause of the problem and take action if they confirm you had food poisoning.

"If it's expired food, then we will physically check the product," said Asia Abdulwahab Al Raeesi, Dubai Municipality's head of studies and food planning. "But if it's food poisoning, the consumer must get a medical report from a doctor after reporting the issue."

You must also submit a history of what you ate over the previous three days, and a two-sample laboratory analysis from a hospital that confirms food poisoning, said Ms Al Raeesi. A response is issued within hours of the complaint.

Ms Al Raeesi said consumers should call the municipality as soon as possible. "We have to know there is an unsafe product on the market to remove it from the shelves," she said. "Remember that it's not always the last meal that caused it."

Residents in Abu Dhabi can complain to the emirate's Food Control Authority. "We reply to the customer immediately with the update," said Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, the authority's communications director.

If food poisoning is suspected, consumers should go to hospital and inform a doctor of the food eaten in the last few days.

"They will notify us if there is concern for food poisoning," said Mr Reyaysa. "Our staff will go directly to the food establishment to collect food samples and check hygiene."

The authority verifies the bacteria-containing human sample to compare and confirm the case.

"Many people say it's food poisoning when they get sick but they have to keep in mind that it might not be, and they must see a doctor immediately," he said.

cmalek@thenational.ae