UAE introduces proposal for electronic system to monitor food diseases

Omar Abbas - | Mix

The issue of food safety is paramount to ensuring the health and well-being of a nation's citizens.

A recent parliamentary report sheds light on efforts undertaken by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment to bolster food safety measures within the UAE. This article delves into the key findings and proposed solutions outlined in the report.

The importance of the Federal Food Safety Index Project, which was started between 2013 and 2016, is emphasized in the parliamentary report. For the regulatory structure to be strengthened and brought into compliance with international norms, this project was essential. But in order to keep the United Arab Emirates at the top of the world's food security rankings, the report emphasizes the need for additional progress in this area.

Developing a strategic indicator

To address these concerns, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is spearheading a new project aimed at developing a "food safety measurement index." In collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), this endeavor seeks to enhance the nation's food safety infrastructure. An estimated budget of 2.5 million dirhams has been allocated for this initiative, emphasizing the government's commitment to ensuring food safety standards.

The report identifies several challenges hindering the effective implementation of food safety measures. These include inadequate electronic connectivity, reluctance among food establishments to embrace modern technologies, and legislative ambiguities. To overcome these obstacles, the report proposes the adoption of smart technology applications, such as artificial intelligence and remote monitoring systems, to streamline inspection processes and ensure compliance with regulations.

Enhancing electronic connectivity

A key concern highlighted in the report is the lack of electronic connectivity between regulatory authorities and the Food Safety Department. This deficiency impedes the timely reporting and investigation of food safety incidents. To address this issue, the report advocates for the establishment of a centralized platform for reporting violations and activating a National Rapid Alert System for Food to facilitate swift responses to food-borne disease outbreaks.

In response to these challenges, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is actively working towards enhancing the national accreditation and registration system for food through the "ZAD" platform. Additionally, efforts are underway to strengthen the National Rapid Alert System for Food, with 579 reports already received in 2022. Moving forward, concerted efforts are needed to modernize food safety protocols and foster greater collaboration between regulatory agencies and stakeholders.

The parliamentary report underscores the importance of prioritizing food safety initiatives to safeguard public health. By addressing the challenges outlined and implementing the proposed solutions, the UAE can bolster its resilience against food-borne threats and uphold its reputation as a global leader in food security.

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Omar Abbas
Omar Abbas
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