Owners risk fines if cooked food is displayed outdoors in Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority issued the instruction on health grounds and said fines will be issued to violators.

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ABU DHABI // Owners of cafes and restaurants have been warned not to display cooked foods and snacks outside their premises or risk being fined.

The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority issued the instruction on health grounds at a time when many outlets display their foodstuffs outdoors to attract sales.

The authority said residents should consider the health risks of consuming food sold outside where it is exposed to high temperatures and airborne dust.

Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, director of communication and community service at the authority, said: "We are not allowing anybody to sell foodstuffs outside their outlets as the open air could damage the food and have bad health side-effects. Displaying food outside the outlet is against the rules and regulations of the authority. Always we encourage people to eat fresh food and cook themselves."

Residents were also advised against using oil more than once when cooking. The authority said that types of oils differed and while some could be used twice or more, others could be used only once.

Cafes or restaurants found mixing fresh oil with old oil would also face fines.

To avoid burning incidents, particularly involving children, the authority said cooks and housemaids should be aware of the dangers.

"Sometimes the kitchen can be a very dangerous place for children, so make sure that the cooking area is properly cleaned and make children aware of the boiling oil and heat," Mr Al Rayssi said.

He said Ramadan was a good time to teach maids the importance of safe preparation and storage of foodstuffs. He emphasised the need to wash vegetables before eating, and added: "Separation of food is very important, like meat, vegetables, fruits, oil and detergents and cooked stuff."

Food-rule breaches can be reported free on 800 555.