Dubai Municipality Launches Qoot Service for Food Sample Testing

Dubai Municipality Launches Qoot Service for Food Sample Testing

As part of its efforts to protect the health and safety of the members of the society, Dubai Municipality has launched the Qoot initiative, which aims to improve the food sample testing service. It enables the customer to check the quality and safety of food products to ensure that they are free from disease-causing bacteria and harmful chemicals and that they comply with approved local and international specifications. It helps instant detection of food-borne pathogens, by relying on the latest technology, to ensure fast results with high accuracy.

Khalid Mohammed Sharif Al Awadhi, CEO of Health, Safety and Environment Sector at Dubai Municipality said that this service is provided to many groups, namely the individuals, the business sector such as food dealers and food preparation establishments, the governmental and semi-governmental sector such as the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Customs, the Ministry of Health, Dubai Police and the Armed Forces, in addition to internal and external partners.

He added:

'It aims to develop the food sample testing service and activate the Municipality's legislative and supervisory role to finish sample testing within the specified time. Hence, a smart link was made by launching an IT program with high efficiency that guarantees the reliability and speed of completing sample testing within a maximum of four days. In order to achieve the smart government goal e-registration service was launched on Dubai Municipality portal for the customers. This reduced the number of visits of the customer from two to one, which is to submit samples to the laboratory. The service aims to develop and use the latest, modern, advanced and fast technologies that help to speed up the issuance of reports from five working days to two.

We have adopted the latest and most accurate technology in food testing, and these tests are internationally accredited by the AOAC (Association of Official Agricultural Chemists). It brings together government, industry and academia to create standardized methods of analysis that ensure the safety and security of foods and other products that affect public health all over the world,' Al Awadhi said.

A testing from the source project was also initiated in coordination with the UAE embassies in many countries. A mobile laboratory has been provided in the emirate to reach different places with high efficiency. The initiative established a mobile laboratory so that the project provides high accuracy and fast results using the latest technologies, in order to detect the presence or the absence of foodborne pathogens. A total of 18,000 food establishments were inspected and the cases of food poisoning were reduced and controlled to 1,143 cases.

The mobile laboratory is used to provide food testing services and monitor the safety and quality of food in various locations and covers most of the events in Dubai such as the Global Village, Expo 2021, Dubai Air Show and Dubai World Cup.

Risk assessment is done by setting up an advanced mechanism for a food risk assessment matrix by a food registration and classification process to protect public health from food-borne diseases. The initiative aims to build a food risk assessment matrix mechanism as per international best practices for food. A total of 861,078 food items have been registered and classified and they are updated periodically as per the laboratory tests, which has produced 544,428 results, including microbial and chemical results. This has helped to prevent physical risks and to protect public health from foodborne diseases as the number of cases have been reduced to 1,143. The initiative is directly related to the strategic objective of Dubai Municipality, which is to enhance confidence in food safety.

Imported foodstuffs account for the majority of foodstuffs (7,796,475 tons) in Dubai on which the risk engine operates due to the high rate of consumption locally. Through this mechanism, the risk level of the food product is prioritized for food sampling, thus speeding up the release of shipments (345,423) that require laboratory testing (29,944). The initiative aims to keep abreast of developments in the field of food industries and new products (413) and their conformity with the approved food specifications, and to propose the preparation of a new food standard for them. The initiative also aims to analyse data on the results of previous laboratory tests, as there are 207,542 results for food samples, and they can be used in the formulation of a scientific methodology for managing and evaluating food risks.

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