x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

UAE residents confident that food is safe to eat

UAE residents are generally content that the food in their shops and restaurants is safe to eat, a survey shows.

The Al Aan TV survey reveals that residents are generally content that the food in their shops and restaurants is safe to eat.

Most thought food in shops was kept under moderately (34pc) or very (22pc) safe conditions, with only one in 20 (5pc) considering it unsafe. Emiratis were most likely to describe it as very safe (38pc).

For restaurants and takeaways, the satisfaction was less resounding, with just two in five saying restaurant hygiene standards were very (12pc) or moderately (30pc) high - the same total number as said standards were only "OK". Nine per cent were not convinced food in restaurants was generally safe to eat.

Most people (73pc) said they buy their fresh vegetables from a hypermarket - although Emiratis (57pc) were less likely to.

Sven Mostegl, a food-safety expert, said the majority were generally right to trust the biggest outlets. "Large chains have their own distribution to buy big quantities of vegetables from around the world or they're connected to one of the biggest vegetable suppliers."

Some are happy to brave the smaller range elsewhere, though. Naser and Sonia Sultan, a Pakistani couple living in Dubai, buy their vegetables from a small supermarket where they say there is not necessarily a lot of variety.

"Food safety is moderately high in the UAE," said Mr Sultan, "but occasionally, certain products that are not past their expiration date suffered from poor transport or storage conditions."

* Caline Malek