Food safety: Here’s your guide for a model kitchen

Model Kitchen features proper food handling practices to avoid cross-contamination and food-borne diseases

Dubai: If there are no flies or pests in your kitchen, it doesn’t mean it is safe from contaminants and bacteria. Sometimes, the way you handle the raw or cooked food in your kitchen can make your family sick.

To increase residents’ awareness on proper food handling, Dubai Municipality unveiled a ‘model kitchen’ on Sunday as part of the GCC Food Safety Week being held from April 15 to 19.

The model kitchen has been designed to have space and kitchenware designated for different kinds of food — raw, cooked, fresh produce and hot and cold — to ensure proper food handling and avoid cross-contamination.

“We chose a model kitchen to drive home the message that it is important to avoid food contamination and food-borne diseases. This kitchen is hygienic and we want to make people understand the dangers of contamination,” Khalid Mohammad Sherif Al Awadhi, Assistant Director-General for Environment, Health and Safety Control Sector, said.

“Food safety is not just the responsibility of regulatory authorities but of consumers also. We have launched this campaign to make people aware about handling the food from the market to their dining table.

Cross-contamination happens when foods with harmful bacteria come in contact with other foods, through cutting boards and utensils. This commonly happens with raw meat, poultry and seafood.

Iman Ali Al Bastaki, Director of Food Safety Department at Dubai Municipality, said since food safety is the primary concern of any society, the civic body is doing it best to engage all segments of the society through a wide array of events lined up for the GCC Food Safety Week.

To mark the Food Safety Week, officials visited the model kitchen set up by Ikea on the municipality premises where employees were given tips about food safety in the kitchens.

Jehaina Hassan Al Ali, head of Awareness and Applied Nutrition Unit in the Food Safety Department at Dubai Municipality, said many misconceptions abound on food handling. “Food contamination is something that can happen while handling food. It may not always cause food poisoning. But it’s one of the main reasons that might lead to food poisoning, especially in homes. At home if you prepare food, you need to know basic food safety handling,” Ali told Gulf News.

“For example, using the same knife for cutting raw food and bread would be risky. Many housewives cut the raw food like chicken or meat and use the same knife for cutting salad,” she said.

Dubai Municipality’s campaign partners are also spreading the food safety message through grocery stores and supermarkets. The civic body has also printed 6,000 stickers about safe delivery of food that will be distributed through Uber Eats.

Food safety experts will hold seminars on food safety on Wednesday at Dubai World Trade Centre.

The municipality will organise a food safety awareness workshop for restaurants on Thursday.


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