Restaurants to face stricter food inspections for Ramadan

DUBAI // Restaurants, hotels and cafes are on high alert ahead of Ramadan as the Food Control Department (FCD) plans increased and stricter inspections.

The head of the food inspection section of Dubai Municipality, Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Ali, said there was no room for error concerning public health.

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The department will be focusing on what it describes as high risk offences such as temperature control and general cleanliness of premises and staff.

In particular, it will be checking that food is displayed on efficient hot and cold cabinets; that food handlers are adhering to personal hygiene requirements, such as wearing head covers and gloves; and that handlers have valid occupational health cards, said Mr Al Ali.

"Food should be well covered and protected from any source of contamination and all food transportation vehicles must be approved by the Food Control Department," said Mr Al Ali.

Each inspector will conduct a minimum of five inspections per shift during Ramadan.

The department carried out 34,000 inspections during 2010 and recorded a 95 per cent compliance. Establishments wishing to erect tents must first gain permission from the Food Control Department. To do this they must inform the department of the internal layout of their tent and the equipment it would contain.

Hassan Masood, the executive chef at Radisson Blu at Dubai Media City, said the hotel would increase "on-the-job skills training" in areas such as storage and waste reduction.

"We work as per Dubai Municipality guidelines including keeping food on the buffet at a certain temperature to avoid quick food spoilage," Mr Masood said. "Also, avoiding setting up a buffet too long before serving and preparing minimum food on display first and refilling the buffet frequently."

He said all perishable items were also checked for production and expiry dates.

Other hotels taking extra precautions include the Movenpick Hotel, which recently refurbished its kitchen, moved its cold kitchen to a separate floor and increased hygiene training, according to Marcus Dudley, the director of food and beverages.

"Because it's such a hot period, we need to be mindful of the proper environment in order to avoid food poisoning," Mr Dudley said. "We fully support Dubai Municipality's initiative and we have already begun Ramadan preparations."

Those preparations include sending food samples to a private laboratory to ensure they are safe. If a customer were to fall sick, the hotel could then ascertain whether the food was at fault.

"We will decorate the restaurant as a tent which will be well-insulated and [Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points] certified. We will utilise proper air conditioning standards and a purpose-built buffet with advanced temperature control," Mr Dudley said.

Customers dining out for Iftar are advised by Mr Al Ali to make sure hot meals are served hot, utensils are sanitary and staff members are clean and tidy.

For any concerns regarding food safety, contact the municipality on 800900.


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On sale: Now

Four motivational quotes from Alicia's Dubai talk

“The only thing we need is to know that we have faith. Faith and hope in our own dreams. The belief that, when we keep going we’re going to find our way. That’s all we got.”

“Sometimes we try so hard to keep things inside. We try so hard to pretend it’s not really bothering us. In some ways, that hurts us more. You don’t realise how dishonest you are with yourself sometimes, but I realised that if I spoke it, I could let it go.”

“One good thing is to know you’re not the only one going through it. You’re not the only one trying to find your way, trying to find yourself, trying to find amazing energy, trying to find a light. Show all of yourself. Show every nuance. All of your magic. All of your colours. Be true to that. You can be unafraid.”

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The rooms
Rooms at Fairmont Mount Kenya range from Dh1,870 per night for a deluxe room to Dh11,000 per night for the William Holden Cottage.


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Granada v Real Volladolid (midnight)

Sevilla v Espanyol (3pm)

Leganes v Real Betis (5pm)

Eibar v Real Sociedad (7pm)

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The specs

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0-100kmh in 9.4 seconds

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Saturday's schedule at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

GP3 race, 12:30pm

Formula 1 final practice, 2pm

Formula 1 qualifying, 5pm

Formula 2 race, 6:40pm

Performance: Sam Smith


Director: David Lowery

Stars: Alexander Molony, Ever Anderson, Joshua Pickering

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Building boom turning to bust as Turkey's economy slows

Deep in a provincial region of northwestern Turkey, it looks like a mirage - hundreds of luxury houses built in neat rows, their pointed towers somewhere between French chateau and Disney castle.

Meant to provide luxurious accommodations for foreign buyers, the houses are however standing empty in what is anything but a fairytale for their investors.

The ambitious development has been hit by regional turmoil as well as the slump in the Turkish construction industry - a key sector - as the country's economy heads towards what could be a hard landing in an intensifying downturn.

After a long period of solid growth, Turkey's economy contracted 1.1 per cent in the third quarter, and many economists expect it will enter into recession this year.

The country has been hit by high inflation and a currency crisis in August. The lira lost 28 per cent of its value against the dollar in 2018 and markets are still unconvinced by the readiness of the government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to tackle underlying economic issues.

The villas close to the town centre of Mudurnu in the Bolu region are intended to resemble European architecture and are part of the Sarot Group's Burj Al Babas project.

But the development of 732 villas and a shopping centre - which began in 2014 - is now in limbo as Sarot Group has sought bankruptcy protection.

It is one of hundreds of Turkish companies that have done so as they seek cover from creditors and to restructure their debts.

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Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
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Industry: FinTech
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