Dubai Municipality revealed that the percentage of vegetables and fruits imported to Dubai, which is free of pesticide residues, is 74.2%, and called for the preparation of a national program to control pesticide residues in food products.
The Director of the Studies and Food Systems Department at Dubai Municipality, Ahmed Al Ali, during the 13th Dubai International Food Safety Conference, yesterday, presented the results of a study on the control procedures on imported vegetables and fruits, and the results of samples in Dubai, which indicated that 90% of fresh vegetables and fruits in Dubai are imported.
He pointed to the collection of 2839 samples from the ports to examine the residues of pesticides, and found that the number of samples matched 2107 samples, pointing out that the most non-conforming types of vegetables were tomatoes, okra, eggplant and green pepper, while it was not matched in guava fruits, peaches and strawberries.
He said that the number of pesticides that are being analyzed by the Dubai Municipality is 262 pesticides, while the number being analyzed by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment 500 pesticides.
Al-Ali spoke about the control procedures for fruits and vegetables imported by Dubai Municipality, stressing checking the documents accompanying the shipment, which includes health certificate, the results of laboratory tests, with the apparent detection of vegetables and fruits, and the collection of samples to examine pesticide residues, according to several factors, including quantities of vegetables and fruits Imported via emirate outlets, production season, previous available results from sample surveys, and food notifications received on some species, such as guava, cantaloupe and watermelon.
He also talked about the mechanism of collecting samples of vegetables and fruits, stressing that the port inspectors determine the samples, wax containers, and the competent team collects the samples, then the samples are analyzed to examine pesticide residues in the Dubai Central Laboratory, and in the event of positive results are dealt with the imported shipment according to approved procedures, He pointed out that it may amount to return the shipment to the country of origin.
Al-Ali stressed the need to unify the control procedures on vegetables and fruits in the ports of the state, and define the standards and methods of examination, and to inform the importing companies of the procedures and requirements for the importation of vegetables and fruits, and take the necessary measures towards the violating companies, and strengthen control from the source by visiting the regulatory authorities in the country of origin, and the adoption Laboratories in the country of origin, promoting local production of vegetables and fruits, drawing on modern technologies.
The conference, organized by Dubai Municipality, will witness the establishment of a distinguished group of diverse events, including the organization of workshops and scientific seminars aimed at highlighting the latest developments and developments in the field of food safety, and discuss ways to reach the highest standards that ensure the achievement of objectives in this area, with the participation of selected Lecturers, experts and food safety professionals from over 55 countries around the world.
Khalid Sharif Al Awadhi, Executive Director of Dubai Municipality's Environment, Health and Safety Sector, said: “The workshops, educational seminars and seminars that are organized within the conference contribute to the anticipation of effective solutions to the challenges related to food safety. In presenting future insights, Dubai is recognized as a city with the highest international standards in food safety.