Tougher food safety rules in Oman: Higher fines and CCTV installation mandatory
Oman’s Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources (MRMWR) announced the changes made in the Food Safety Regulation on Sunday (May 5). The minister, Ahmed Bin Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al-the, issued a ministerial decision no. 118/2019, which contains amendments to the regulation.
One of the new amendment will see to the mandatory installation of CCTVs in food establishments as a form of supervision.
“An official of the food establishment shall be obliged to install cameras inside the food establishment before engaging in any activity of food handling activities in accordance with the regulations adopted by the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources,” as stated in article 33 of the revised law.
It added that “it is forbidden to stop the electronic censorship system, or to do any act that would affect it.”
Failure to abide by the law will result in a fine between OMR$100 (US$259) and OMR$3,000 (US$7792).
On the other hand, the penalties for violating food safety rules are also revised.
One of the heaviest fines was related to the manufacturing of food without a license or producing counterfeit food or using harmful substances not suitable for human consumption.
Food firms which violated the above would be fined up to OMR$5,000 (US$12,987).
They could also be fined between OMR$500 (US$1298) and OMR$2,000 (US$5195) if the details of the food content is not clearly defined in the explanatory card, or if the product contains alcohol or parts of pig.
In addition, food establishments will also be fined between OMR$100 and OMR$500 if they sold foods in unlicensed places or if their employees did not receive food safety trainings, according to Gulf Daily News.
The newly revised penalties are applicable to multiple players in the food industry, ranging from food processing plants, mills, livestock slaughterhouses, food service outlets, and food retail stores.
The fine shall be doubled if the same violation is repeated within two years from the date of the first offence, according to article 37 of the Food Safety Regulation.
Earlier in February, the MWMWR also organised a food safety and quality workshop with The Research Council.
The workshop is aimed at working towards the Strategic Research Program for Food Safety and Quality, which is meant to enhance research and innovation in the field of food safety and quality, and translating knowledge produced from the program into commercially viable food products.