MoPH Intensifies Measures to Ensure Food Safety During Month of Ramadan

MoPH Intensifies Measures to Ensure Food Safety During Month of Ramadan By Fathimath Nasli - March 19, 2024
MoPH Intensifies Measures to Ensure Food Safety During Month of Ramadan

MoPH to ensure food safety during the holy month of Ramadan

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has intensified control over local food and its outlets to ensure the safety of products that are handled, marketed, and consumed during the holy month of Ramadan, in addition to tightening control over food consignments imported from abroad at air, sea, and land ports.

Health surveillance has been intensified on the establishments most visited by consumers, such as consumer associations, (hypermarkets) and popular kitchens, in addition to food establishments, especially butcheries. Also, the population density has been considered while choosing the locations of establishments included in the food inspection campaigns to ensure the highest possible level of food safety during the holy month.

The uniqueness of the month of fasting, during which the consumption pattern changes, was also considered, as consumers increasingly demand certain foodstuffs.

Regarding the control of imported food, the MoPH statistics recorded the control of up to 534 million and 534 thousand and 971 kilograms of food during the first quarter of 2024, and 404 million and 621 thousand and 442 kilograms of them were released after proving their compliance with the requirements, while 7 million and 322 thousand and 183 kilograms were rejected and 10 thousand.

311 kilograms were destroyed after it was proven that they violated the requirements of the relevant technical regulations and standards.

Due to the increase in the number of food consignments to the State of Qatar during this period, the number of food inspectors at land, sea and air ports has been increased so as to support the inspection schedule so that the monitoring process is effective. The health units at the ports also work around the clock on a shift system to ensure the smooth and fast control process and the flow of goods in a manner that covers the needs of the market.

Local inspections and port inspections at are carried out using the electronic (Watheq) system and in accordance with standard operating procedures that have obtained international accreditation from the American Accreditation Council (ANAB) in accordance with the international standard ISO 17020 (ISO:17020).

To ensure the safety of food and its compliance with the requirements and standards, inspectors at outlets and in local food establishments take samples that are examined at the MoPH Food Safety Laboratory and the shift system has been adopted inside the laboratory throughout the month of Ramadan to increase its capacity in line with the intensification of control procedures.

It is noteworthy that the Food Safety Laboratory has completed the re-evaluation process by the American Accreditation Board (ANAB) of the requirements of the Standard for Analytical Laboratories and guidelines ISO 17025:2017 and AOAC for the main laboratory and sub-laboratory at Hamad Sea Port. The scope of accreditation in the main laboratory and sub-laboratories has also been increased from 74 analytical methods to 82 internationally accredited analytical methods.

In order to consolidate the principle of "food safety is a shared responsibility", the MoPH Food Safety Department is constantly promoting a culture of food safety among the various stakeholders in the food process, including consumers and food establishments, and in this context, virtual workshops are organized for representatives of food establishments and food handlers, and consumer awareness is increased on the rules of maintaining food safety and how to avoid foodborne diseases.

Source: QNA

By Fathimath Nasli - March 19, 2024

Leave a comment