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Home > Ramadan News
Eat healthy, donít waste: DMís Ramadan slogan

Staff Reporter / 16 July 2012

Donít waste food during Ramadan and ensure that the food consumed during the holy month is healthy and safe, Dubai Municipalityís different departments have told businesses and residents.

Strict guidelines for ensuring food safety and proper waste management have been issued by the Food Control and Waste Management departments respectively. The Food Control Department has asked restaurants, bakeries, cafeterias, catering services and shops selling traditional sweets and snacks not to display them outside the shops, without securing its permit in advance.

Guide to healthy fasting

1. Don’t break your fast with a feast or you may put on weight instead of losing it

2. Observe balanced diet. Those observing the fast should have at least two meals a day, the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor) and the meal at dusk (Iftar).

3. Focus on healthy foods. Those that keep you full longer during Suhoor and Iftar meals such as:

  • Fibre: whole-wheat grains, breads, cereals and pastas; brown rice, vegetables and fruits, beans, nuts and seeds (choose unsalted nuts and seeds); Protein: lean animal meat: fish/seafood, low fat or non-fat dairy (milk, yoghurt, cheese), beans, nuts and seeds; Healthy fats: olives and olive oil, canola oil, avocados and fatty fish.

4. Hydrate frequently during non-fasting hours. Drinking excessive amounts of fluids at Suhoor is not an effective way to stay hydrated.

  • Avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks or beverages

5. Avoid smoking

6. Get adequate sleep and take naps if possible

7. Break the fast gently. Traditionally, the daily fast during Ramadan is broken with dates and water —not only do dates contain natural sugars that act as an immediate source of energy for the body, they are also high in potassium—a mineral and electrolyte that helps maintain the body’s fluid balance.

Foods to avoid

  • Deep fried foods, for e.g. samosas and fried dumplings
  • High sugar and high fat foods, including sweets
  • High fat cooked foods, for e.g. oily curries and greasy pastries

Healthy alternatives

  • Baked samosas and boiled dumplings
  • Chappatis made without oil, baked or grilled meat and chicken
  • Make pastry at home and use a single layer
  • Milk-based sweets and puddings

Cooking methods to avoid

  • Deep frying
  • Excessive use of oil

Healthy cooking methods

  • Shallow frying
  • Grilling or baking is healthier and helps retain the taste and original flavor of the food, especially with chicken and fish.

(Issued by the Public Health and Safety Department of Dubai Municipality)

Director of the department Khalid Mohammed Sharif Al Awadhi said all the food shops have been asked not to process, heat or cook items outside the establishments. Shops are also strictly warned not to display and sell food items before (at most) two hours from the time of Iftar. The final cooking process should have been done before (at most) two hours before selling it.

“As part of the municipality’s implementation of best practices in the field of food safety, the department has already fixed many conditions in food production and processing. During Ramadan, we are more alert not to allow any food-related incidents” said Al Awadhi.

The rules stipulate that food items should be displayed only inside highly efficient hot-holding cabinets made in accordance with adequate health and safety requirements and specifications.

Workers should definitely maintain personal cleanliness and hygiene. If not having the specified temperature-control in place, the displayed items should not at all contain high-risk items like meat, chicken and fish.

Snacks should be displayed in food cabinets specially made for food storage and display spots should be neat and far from any possible external contamination. The municipality has asked the establishments to submit application for displaying and selling snacks with attaching list of products to  sell, at the municipality centre in Al Twar. Fee for this is Dh210. Public can contact the municipality toll-free hotline 800900 if any violation is found in this regard.

Waste Management

Meanwhile, the Waste Management Department is all geared up for Ramadan by intensifying inspections and increasing the use of tools and equipment. The department is also offering free services and spreading awareness messages to maintain the highest level of cleanliness during the holy month.

Abdul Majeed Al Saifaie, Director of the department, said that a monitoring system has been deployed to work round-the-clock to cover the notifications and complaints as well as to oversee the work flow in the entire sites.

“Apart from the regular services, the department has formed an emergency team equipped with advanced facilities to receive and take action on the urgent notifications and complaints in addition to a special beach monitoring team,” Saifaie said. “We urge the public to reduce the waste as much as possible... Consuming less food is good to be healthy during Ramadan and keep the emirate clean.”

The department has also issued a leaflet to educate the public on how to reduce the waste especially during Ramadan. “The department will focus on cleaning drainages, express ways and public health utilities. It will also undertake transportation of bulk wastes free of cost directly from the houses. This facility can be availed on requesting through the customer care centre of the civic body,” the official added.

Specific waste treatment areas are prepared in Al Qusais, Bayadha and Jebel Ali to work round-the-clock in addition to the services of hazardous and medical waste treatment scheduled from 7am to 12noon.

Moreover, there would be educational and awareness programmes for the public through smart phones, emails and radio and TV channels to reduce the waste through the rationalisation of spending and avoiding lavishness in daily purchases.


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