Dubai Municipalitiy’s Food Control Department issued nearly 200 fines to establishments caught breaking food safety regulations in early August, the month of Ramadan. The inspectors focused on outlets selling food in particular demand during the holy month.

The National newspaper reported that Sultan Ali al Tahir, the acting head of the Product Control section, said 239 inspections were conducted at the beginning of Ramadan.

“We issued 161 fines and 78 warnings. In the assessment, 57 establishments got ‘very good’ and 171 ‘good’,” he told the newspaper.

“Only eight establishments earned a rating of ‘average’ and ‘weak’, which is 4 percent of the establishments visited during the campaign.”

Inspectors also visited 91 warehouses where food is stored before proceeding onto the supermarkets and co-ops. Thirty-five of them were fined and 56 were issued warning notices. A total of 6 percent of the warehouses were not compliant with hygiene rules and were rated average, while 94 percent received ratings of good and very good.

Sultan Ali a Tahi said the most significant violations in warehouses were lack of general cleanliness, improper storage, and poor ventilation.  In addition, some workers in did not have health cards.

Zawya News reported that the Animal Products Control Section of the Food Control Department prepared for the campaign before the holy month began by forming a working group. This group met with the food establishments and launched its campaign two weeks before Ramadan and continued for two weeks during the holy month.