Of the agricultural facilities and suppliers visited, ADFCA issued notices to 35 and warnings to 21, and fined 53 shops for violations, in addition to confiscating banned agricultural products. During its inspections of food facilities, the agency found only one of five storage facilities was in compliance with its regulations – the other four were warned or put on notice.
ADFCA also inspected food markets, issuing 11 warnings and three fines, as well as seizing the 560kg of unsafe food. Of the 65 restaurants visited, only 13 were in compliance – the agency fined three establishments, and issued warnings to another 36.
“The objective of our inspection campaigns – both the routine and the surprise ones – is to guarantee the availability of safe and healthy products to public. It also helps us to check the violations and wrong practices as well as gives us chance to directly monitor the commitment levels of establishments in fulfilling ADFCA's food safety requirements and standards,” said Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, director of the Communication and Community Service Division at ADFCA.
For its agricultural inspections, ADFCA worked with the Ministry of Environment and Water and the Department of Economic Development. Seventeen inspectors from the three government bodies spent three days visiting facilities across Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region, within Abu Dhabi emirate.
“The inspection campaign was aimed at curbing the practice of handling certain kind of pesticides which are not registered in UAE. Also, we aimed to eliminate some common violations committed by shop owners such as not keeping proper register for supply and sale of fertilisers and pesticides,” said Al Rayssi.
First of its kind
ADFCA said its agricultural inspection campaign was the first of its kind in the emirate to date, and were part of its efforts to ensure food safety “from farm to fork”. As well as pesticides and fertilisers, the inspectors examined other growth promotes, seeds and saplings, confiscating any that were unregistered or out of date.
Ghanem Al Shamsi, acting assistant undersecretary of the External Audit Sector at the Ministry of Environment and Water, said: “The new campaign is launched as part of [the] ministry's varied efforts to strengthen cooperation and strategic partnerships with various government authorities to seek best and effective enforcement of federal legislations, in addition to impart awareness among establishment owners and staff about the spirit of laws and regulations. The move comes out of [the] ministry's keenness on supporting sustainability of environment and local production which is considered as a key national responsibility in achieving health and safety of consumers.”