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MOPH intensifies inspections of food establishments as part of COVID-19 precautionary measures
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MOPH intensifies inspections of food establishments as part of COVID-19 precautionary measures

QNA
Doha
The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has intensified health control campaigns on food establishments, especially consumer societies, and food and drinkable water factories, since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as part of precautionary measures to curb the virus, in cooperation with the ministry of the municipality and environment and the ministry of commerce and industry.
The MOPH's Food Safety Department carried out a thorough action plan that takes into account the stages of transmission and depends on the principle of risk analysis and classification of targeted facilities according to the results of routine inspection, by giving priority to facilities where violations of health requirements for food handling were reported, in addition to preparing new inspection forms for societies and food factories in order to keep pace with the new epidemiological situation.
Director of the MOPH's Food Safety Department Wasan Abdullah Al Baker said that the MOPH's inspectors tour about 60 consumer societies per week to ensure that they met health requirements in general and the precautionary measures that have been declared to reduce the risk of an outbreak of infection with the coronavirus in particular, adding this includes the commitment of all workers in food establishments to put on masks and gloves and their regular replacement, and to disinfect all packaging upon receipt and before storing them with the documentation of this procedure.
She pointed out that the MOPH's inspectors also inspect and ensure that the manager of a food establishment gauges temperature of workers working in societies and hypermarkets, ascertains their health condition before starting their work, and excludes any worker showing symptoms such as coughing or sneezing, in addition to making sure the doors of refrigerators and all common surfaces are sanitized, while taking into account that the disinfectant must be certified and complies with the required specifications circulated by the Ministry's inspectors.
They also ensure that an alcoholic hand sanitizer is provided to shoppers at the entrances of the hypermarket, in addition to sanitizing the shopping carts by the hypermarket worker before handing them to the consumer, while ensuring the single use of paper tissues and an approved disinfectant in compliance with health requirements.
The supervision of personal hygiene and health behavior of all workers at the hypermarkets by those responsible has been intensified, with the cashers of the hypermarkets being obliged to clean hands, and providing a conveyor belt and the payment device using the card after each consumer.
The MOPH has intensified the inspection of factories classified as high-risk food establishments according to their types of animal-origin products such as dairy factories, meat and poultry products to make sure that food factories adhere to the health requirements of cleaning and disinfection of workers' accommodation on daily basis, and that their means of transport respect the number of workers in each vehicle, along with commitment to wearing masks while on the move, and gauging the temperatures for each worker before entering the factory, in addition to adhering to the daily cleaning program inside the factory and reviewing all potential hazard points and methods of maintaining manufacturing safety.
The MOPH's Food Safety Department also checked that food safety education and training programs for all workers in the factories are prepared and implemented, with an internal audit scheduled for each industrial process, and cleaning and disinfection of products / cars transportation before dispatching food shipments to the market as well as cleaning food packages with appropriate disinfectants.
The Food Safety Department of the Ministry of Public Health has prepared and distributed several circulars addressed to consumer societies, restaurants, productive farms, food factories, potable water and food delivery companies, with directives on health and safety procedures within all establishments.
The Ministry also carried out various cultural activities related to preparing and distributing awareness posters for the public and workers with tips and recommendations related to personal hygiene and health behavior to prevent the spread of infection.

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