x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Mobile phone users rush to sign up for food safety warnings

More than 1,000 people signed up to have food safety alerts sent straight to their BlackBerrys within six hours of the service being switched on.

ABU DHABI // More than 1,000 people signed up to have food safety alerts sent straight to their BlackBerrys within six hours of the service being switched on. The new service was launched on Monday by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA). It offers free updates on food recalls and safety. In May, the ADFCA temporarily closed 17 food outlets that posed risks to public health. Now, any closures of restaurants or supermarkets will be announced through the Zady service.

It is hoped that the public will put the messages to use, said Mohammed al Reyaysa, an ADFCA spokesman. "The challenge will be on them to act on the information and share information with their family and friends. "The major thing will be general information for the public - some of the messages will be agriculture and others will be public service. "It can be food recalls or messages informing people who have date palms at their homes when it's [harvest] time so they can cut."

He added that the service would also be useful for farmers and pet owners, with advice such as vaccinations. The authority plans to expand the service to other popular mobile systems. "[The public] are important for us," said Mr al Reyaysa. "What motivates us always it to keep them in line with us to protect others, the public are our other eyes." People can subscribe to the service by adding the PIN code 214c88cc into their messenger programme,, by texting their PIN code through 050 641 6855 or by emailing blackberry@adfca.ae. @Email:mdetrie@thenational.ae