Almost half of all Dubai eateries will stop selling shawarmas

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Almost 45 per cent of shawarma stands in Dubai will be closed, with Dubai Municipality enforcing its new rules for the sale of the popular Arabic delicacy in the emirate from November 1.

The authority sent letters to 572 outlets explaining the recent health safety guidelines after inspection campaigns found that they do not have enough space to properly prepare and store food.

But inspectors said a 25 per cent – 141 outlets – did not take any action “at all” and another 20 per cent – 113 – stopped serving rather than meet the new rules. The deadline for meeting the new rules was yesterday.

Better hygiene and safety

The changes stated that chefs must have enough room to ensure raw meats are not near salads, that all non-cooked food is kept in fridges and that the meat is at no point exposed to dirt or dust.

  • It is mandatory to move the shawarma stands indoors and ensure that they are not exposed to dust, dirt or any other external sources of pollution.
  • The regulations also make it mandatory to ensure proper refrigeration of raw materials, enough space for the storage of shawarma-making tools, separate facilities for defrosting frozen meat, thorough cleansing of vegetables and proper ways of waste disposal.

The implementation of the new rules will ensure better hygiene and food safety for consumers.

Sultan Al Tahir, Head of Food Inspection Section at Dubai Municipality said: “Inspectors from the municipality found that shawarma outlets don’t have enough space to prepare or store the food.

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“They also did not have a space to put other ingredient, including mayonnaise, garlic sauce, tahina, etc. During our routine inspection campaigns to these shawarma outlets, we detected many violations.”

Al Tahir said: “Medium-sized or small restaurants do not have enough space to separate food ingredients, which causes the occurrence of cross-contamination between meat and vegetables as it requires to be completely separated and allotted a place away from the meat.”

- Published on 2 November 2016

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