The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has intensified inspection of imported food items to ensure their compliance to health standards ahead of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
In a statement, the ministry said it has stepped up supervision of shipment documents and information cards of food items being imported to the country at all border ports.
The ministry is also undertaking necessary laboratory tests to ensure safety of food items.
Any food item that does not conforme to the GCC standards and technical regulations will get rejected, destroyed or re-exported, it said. The MoPH is checking imported food items at all the entry points (land, sea and air ports) round the clock, engaging more than 80 inspectors for the purpose.
A total of 594,924,383 kg of imported food item were received at the country’s ports during the first quarter of 2017. While 849,125 kg of imported food items were rejected, 638,503 kg were re-exported. A total of 421,244 kg of rejected food items were destroyed.
In April, the country’s ports received a total of 181,324,570 kg of food items. Of the total, 259,151 kg were rejected, while 24,200 kg were re-exported.
The ministry highlighted the importance of the joined efforts by concerned authorities to supervise the quality of imported food items, especially after their release in the local market to ensure the safety of transport, storage, supply and trading inside the markets.