x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Unsafe drinks taken off store shelves

Three drink products have been removed from sale after they were found to breach safety laws, the food watchdog said yesterday.

ABU DHABI // Three drink products have been removed from sale after they were found to breach safety laws, the food watchdog said yesterday. The products were all pulled from shelves in March after inspections by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority that also revealed serious hygiene problems in some retail outlets and food warehouses. One of them, a canned pineapple juice, contained pork.

Cans of mango juice, made in Sharjah, were pulled from supermarkets in Al Bateen, on Airport Road and on Electra Street. The cans, produced between July 2009 and January this year, were found to have unspecified "manufacturing defects". Six-litre bottles of spring water, produced in November, were found to contain excessive amounts of bromine. The authority is conducting additional tests on the water.

Mohammed al Reyaysa, a spokesman for the authority, said: "Our goal is for the right message to get to the consumers and for them to be safe." He said the recalls had not been announced until now because the authority had wanted to round up the products, which had limited distribution channels, before most of them reached consumers. The authority would alert the public immediately if a widely available product was defective, he said.

He called on consumers to report any cases of suspected contamination or poor storage. Retail and supply outlets continued to have worse hygiene standards than restaurants and even slaughterhouses, said Mr al Reyaysa. They were a "glaring" exception to improving safety standards. Eleven retail stores, warehouses and suppliers were closed in March for repeatedly failing health tests. In March last year, 19 were shut. Two suspected cases of food poisoning were linked to the outlets.

kshaheen@thenational.ae