Dubai Municipality to launch a new grading system
By Bilal Al Halabi, Al Halabi Ref. & Kitchen Equipment www.al-halabi.com
Dubai Municipality is to launch a new grading system in the first week of April, with approximately 14,000 restaurants, cafeterias, catering companies and other food establishments being introduced to a colour coding system that will evaluate the level of hygiene and food safety. “The big difference,” explains Bobby Krishna, Principal Food Inspection Officer at Dubai Municipality, “is that the results of the grading system will be on display so that the consumer can clearly see the standards of the catering outlet before they choose whether they want to eat there.”
The colour coding will be divided into five distinct categories, based upon a business’s score out of 100. A green card will only be awarded to those that score 95 or over, whilst a pale green card, equivalent to a rating of between 90 and 94, will signify a satisfactory rating. A yellow card, scoring from 75 to 89, will denote a conditional pass, with a red card showing that the eatery has failed by recording either two or more major violations or in excess of seven minor violations, giving a score from 60 to 74.
There is one more colour to take note of – white. This is presented to those establishments that were given a red card but have successfully carried out the modifications required in order to bring them back up to standard. If improvements continue, a green card will then be given during the next inspection.
So what exactly is a red card issued for? “There are a variety of reasons, from the way food is handled through to it being stored at inappropriate temperatures. Anything that threatens the health of the consumer or the safety of employees,” Bobby says.
This increased transparency will be a boon to those eateries that achieve green card status, for in the eyes of the consumer they will be trusted and safe places to eat. The colour coded system, of course, is used throughout the world, with Bobby concluding: “We have copied the best global practices and adapted them for the local marketplace.”