Dubai Municipality organized the first “Dubai Food Safety Forum” at the Marriott Hotel Al Jaddaf, Dubai, from 7 to 8 June 2023, coinciding with the World Food Safety Day, which falls on June 7 of each year and this year’s celebration is held under the theme, “Food standards save lives.” The first “Dubai Food Safety Forum” was held in the presence of Eng. Mr. Mohammad Alameri, Assistant Under Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Eng. Alia Al Harmoodi, the CEO of the Environment, Health, and Safety Agency at Dubai Municipality, and a number of food safety experts and leaders from the public and private sectors in the UAE.
The forum aimed to raise awareness on the vital role that food standards play in ensuring the safety and quality of food supply chains, and to urge the implementation of best practices that ensure the safety and quality of products, and the benefits that companies and consumers reap from adhering to these standards.
His Excellency Dawoud Al-Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said: “Dubai Municipality has continued its endeavors to bolster food safety and increase public awareness regarding the significance of adhering to food standards for the preservation of public health. These initiatives align with Dubai’s overarching vision of attaining the status of the world’s most sustainable city in terms of living standards, prosperity, and overall quality of life. The Municipality’s primary objective is to guarantee the highest standards of food health and safety while also enhancing food security for the Emirate and supporting the efforts of the UAE to secure it on a large scale.”
“The Municipality will organize the 17th Dubai International Food Safety Conference in November 2023, under the theme ‘Impact of Climate Change on Food Safety’. This event is part of our ongoing efforts to raise awareness by organizing international conferences that are focused on food safety. The conference will offer a valuable platform to showcase and discuss the latest global best practices in the food sector,” he added.
Eng. Alia Al Harmoodi, Acting CEO of the Environment, Health and Safety Agency at Dubai Municipality, affirmed that Dubai’s inaugural ‘Food Safety Forum’ emphasizes the significance of food standards in maintaining the utmost standards of food safety.
“Ensuring the safety of food is a paramount concern for Dubai Municipality. The Municipality has adopted a proactive approach to secure access to safe and healthy food for residents and visitors of Dubai, prioritizing quality assurance. Through this approach, we aim to safeguard the community by taking proactive measures against food-related risks,” she said.
Al Harmoodi noted that food standards not only guarantee the safety of food products but also enhance their overall quality.
Several community awareness activities were also held on the side-lines of the Forum in collaboration with private sector companies and educational institutions in the Emirate of Dubai. These initiatives encompassed sustainable cooking campaigns on social media and a highly impactful event focused on awareness and community education. The involvement of the private sector, such as the UAE Restaurant Group and the UAE Food and Beverage Manufacturers Group, played a vital role in fostering awareness and disseminating knowledge about food safety.
Many food establishments have also joined the “I Pledge to Food Safety” initiative, which was launched by Dubai Municipality, through participating in several events and spreading awareness messages, through events and spreading awareness messages through more than 350 websites of the participating brands via the initiative link: https://foodsafetypledge.com/.
Dubai Municipality has been celebrating World Food Safety Day every year since its announcement, in collaboration with food establishments, stakeholders from the government in the UAE, educational institutions, and notable international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).