x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

'Safe Kitchen' programme begins with session on how to handle food

Reading labels and following instructions are key to food safety, people were told at the first session of the municipality's Safe Kitchen Initiative programme.

Dubai // Reading labels and following instructions are key to food safety, people were told at the first session of the municipality's Safe Kitchen Initiative programme. Representatives of the food control department addressed a group of more than two dozen people, mostly women, on Monday night at the Lulu Hypermarket in Al Qusais. People should focus on the handling of food from the time of shopping until it is consumed, said Bobby Krishna, a senior food studies officer. The officer urged everyone to read labels on products and ensure that instructions were followed.

"Always read labels properly," he said. "Pre-packed foods have expiry dates, lists of ingredients and handling instructions printed on the packs." He also warned against leaving food in warm places and said that washing hands could eliminate nearly half of all food-borne illnesses. Most of the attendees had registered for the free programme, while others were shoppers who stopped to hear the lecture.

Several asked questions about food-related illnesses and how they could be avoided. The inspectors said kitchen surfaces and appliances should always be kept clean and food should be stored appropriately. "Some of the things we do at home are out of practice but may not be right. The presentation was informative," one woman said. The municipality launched the initiative to promote the correct preparation of meals. It is part of a series of efforts by the food control department to highlight food safety.

The efforts follow a series of food poisoning cases this summer, many of which were due to food served at home. Dubai has recorded 60 cases of food poisoning this year, two-thirds of which involved people eating at home. The department is planning more training sessions. pmenon@thenational.ae