Law on safety of food
In January 2016, H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE approved the law on safety of food. The law imposes standards and regulations for maintaining the safety and quality of food mainly on those dealing in food; i.e. on traders.
This is to ensure the protection of public health and consumers. The law imposes strict penalties on those found to be endangering food safety across the UAE. The law authorises Ministry of Economy to impose fines of up to AED 100,000 for other offences, provided that these offences are regulated by the Cabinet.
Some aspects of the food law are:
- No food may be imported into the country for the first time without approval of Ministry of Climate Change and Environment
- Those dealing in food or products that contain pork or alcohol or any of their by-products without permission face a prison term of not less than a month and a fine of up to AED 500,000
- Misleading consumers by publishing a false description of food or using incorrect labels will attract a fine ranging from AED 10,000 to 100,000.
Entities ensuring food safety
In the emirate of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority ensures food safety and guarantees that the food is fit for human consumption. It also conducts the necessary research and studies on safe food and issue rules, regulations and standards on food items sold or offered for human consumption.
Department of Health - Abu Dhabi has published a list of adulterated products.
In the emirates of Dubai and Sharjah, food safety falls under the scope of the respective municipal authorities.
Municipalities oversee food safety requirements and ensure that products have correct labels and expiry dates for consumption. They conduct random inspections across all food stuff stores and restaurants to ensure the quality of food supplied and to ensure that it is suitable for people to eat.
For more information, check the links bellow: