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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Qatar food inspectors ramp up spot-checks as Eid holidays approach

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All photos courtesy of MME/Baladiya

Eateries, market stalls, sweet shops and abattoirs will be among the food outlets targeted in an intensive inspection campaign by Qatar’s food hygiene officials in the run-up to Eid Al Adha.

The effort is being led by teams from the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), the government said in a statement yesterday.

No official date has been announced yet, but Eid Al Adha is expected to begin around Sept. 12.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Shops that have Eid promotions to sell sweets, nuts and pastries can expect unannounced visits from the ministry’s inspectors starting the week of Sept. 3.

The Wholesale Market in Abu Hamour and other similar areas will also come under scrutiny to ensure items are being stored and sold according to food safety laws.

And during the Eid holiday, inspectors will be based at the central market’s auction yard examining all fruit and vegetables, between 4:30am and 10:30am, then from 1:30pm to 7:30pm, Baladiya warned.

Food storage areas and shops in the Industrial Area will also be subject to surprise inspections.

Meat safety

Qatar’s licensed abattoirs will expect brisk business during Eid, when Qurbani is traditionally performed.

This  practice is observed annually during Eid Al Adha and symbolically represents the sacrifice that God asked of the Prophet Abraham.

A team of 28 vets from the ministry will monitor operations at these locations to ensure safe slaughter of what is expected to be thousands of animals during the holiday period.

If any animals are found to have health problems, the meat will be entirely or partly destroyed as appropriate and a certificate given to the customer to prove the meat was unfit for consumption.

Eid Al Adha slaughterhouse
Eid Al Adha slaughterhouse

Last Eid, the country’s slaughter houses were criticized for being overcrowded and unsanitary.

Many residents reported having to wait for hours in the stifling heat before they could get their animal slaughtered.

Shops and stalls selling poultry and fish can also expect visits from the ministry inspectors during this crackdown.

Some 40kg of fresh fish was destroyed by officials at Al Wakrah municipality this week after it was found to have contravened health regulations, Baladiya said.

Meanwhile, men’s and ladies hair and beauty salons will also be inspected to ensure they meet hygiene standards in what will be a busy time for them before Eid.

Failure to meet these standards can result in fines and and part or full closures of branches for weeks at a time.

A similar campaign got underway for the run-up to Ramadan this year.

Sheep promotion

Finally, Qatar’s Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has announced that its sale of subsidized sheep to Qatari citizens will start from Sept. 4.

The livestock market in Abu Hamour
The livestock market in Abu Hamour

For the last four years, the government has bought in hundreds of sheep ahead of the traditional Eid holiday.

The Jordanian sheep will cost QR1,100 each and will be on sale by Widam Food Company until the third day of Eid (around Sept. 13), the MEC said in a statement.

They will be sold at the central market and at Widam abattoirs at Al Shamal, Al Khor and Al Mazrouah.

Customers should be Qatari, over the age of 18 and have their ID card. Only one animal will be sold per person.

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