Abu Dhabi warns against spreading food rumours

By Eudore R. Chand

ABU DHABI 15 May 2020: The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (Adafsa), has warned the public about the negative impact of circulating food-related rumours and urged people to contact the authority to verify any information with regard to food safety.

Furthermore, the Adafsa urged the public not to be swayed by such rumours, especially those circulating on social media about highly demanded products during Ramadan. It may lead to changes in the nutritional habits of consumers due to misunderstandings and lead them to make erroneous nutrition-related decisions, the authority clarified.

The authority indicated that traders use such rumours to disseminate false information about their competitors’ products, which contributes significantly to damaging manufacturing and supply facilities, thereby harming the national economy, said Wam.

According to the authority, some rumours are intended to harm certain products and brands for competitive reasons. These are circulated among the public as misleading information or by publishing old news as new information.

It urged the public to avoid circulating any anonymous information about food safety. Instead, consumers have been asked to contact the authority directly on the Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre’s toll-free number, 800555, to report any food rumours. The Adafsa will then take the necessary action.

Six-point directive to Abu Dhabi companies

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) has issued a circular to owners and managers of licensed commercial, industrial and tourism facilities on the preventive health and safety guidelines in the workplace as part of the precautionary measures issued by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The circular focused on six main directives related to employees operating at companies, preventive measures for the wholesale and retail sales and marketing departments along with other measures for the transport sector, financial services, construction, manufacturing and utilities, as well as additional measures for the catering and hospitality sector.

Employees: The circular emphasises the extreme necessity to allow only employees with good health conditions who are free from any chronic diseases and disabilities with an age range between 18 and 55 years to ensure health and safety in the workplace. Employees who suffer from chronic diseases who are over 55 years of age must not be allowed to go to the workplace, considering that these people are more subject to the risk of being infected with the virus.

Wholesale and retail: The circular has further included sector-specific regulations and measures to cover both wholesale and retail. These measures comprised the installation of thermal cameras that have advanced thermal detectors at entrances of any establishment that have 30 employees and above. Employees should always put on face masks and gloves during their shifts and ensure that presenting products to clients should be done from behind the installed glass barriers.

Social distancing: Furthermore, social distancing practices should always be implemented, and purchasing transactions are to be done by electronic payment methods. The circular pointed out the importance of sanitization of exits and entrances regularly and employees or workers with high fever should be immediately reported to the concerned department.

DED has also included additional measures in the circular pertaining to the transportation sector, financial services, construction, manufacturing, restaurants, and hospitality as well as service facilities in the private sector.

These measures have also included installing thermal cameras at the main parking entrances, wearing gloves and face masks at all times, not allowing passengers to stand up in transportation vehicles while reducing vehicle capacity down to 50 per cent. It also highlighted that passengers should leave a space between one another and should not be crowded in adjacent seats, sanitisers should be at hand at the entrances and inside all transportation vehicles, while drivers should be protected by installing a transparent barrier to separate them from the rest of the passengers.



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