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Dubai closes 25% of its shawarma outlets



Almost 25 percent of Dubai’s Shawarma outlets have been closed by Dubai Municipality.

But before all you fast food lovers get too upset, the 141 shawarma joints were closed as they failed to comply with the newly introduced hygiene requirements. After a six-month grace period to give them time to improve their conditions, they still weren’t up to scratch.

There are 29 new requirements related to food storage, preparation and sale. And apparently the 141 outlets that were shut could have had problems like cross contamination.

Dubai Municipality Food Safety Department head of Food Inspection Section Sultan Ali Al Tahir said: “Many of these outlets do not properly store the components, leaving them at high temperatures, especially when summer is approaching, which contributes to the proliferation of bacteria. Some medium or small restaurants do not have enough space to isolate the ingredients used in the preparation of shawarma sandwiches, and place them near the meat and chicken, which causes the occurrence of cross-contamination between meat and vegetables.”

Given that we’re such big shawarma fans, it’s good news that there has been a crackdown on hygiene standards. Al Tahir explained that the new rules include having enough space for the various stages of shawarma preperation.

“The new conditions also include planning of the shawarma making area and the distribution of equipment inside it. The area should be suitable for several main operations. Enough space should be provided to defrost the meat as well as for the preparation of shawarma at various stages, and enough space to store the necessary equipment and tools. Sufficient and effective space should be provided for movement of workers, for using different sizes of tool and raw materials, as well as for waste disposal mechanism,” he said.

The good news is that there are still hundreds of places that you can get a good shawarma, and at least now you can be pretty certain that they’re clean.

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