Home > Consumer > UAE: Abu Dhabi plans EHS system for food

20/1/12  www.tradearabia.com

Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has announced a new environment, health and safety management system which will cover the entire food chain (from Farm to Fork).

The Abu Dhabi Environment, Health and Safety Management System (AD EHSMS) includes all factors related to the protection of the environment, conservation of natural resource and protection and preservation of human health and safety in the workplace.

Annoucing the details, ADFCA said the system is being developed using international standards and best practice.

ADFCA said it had recently hosted the first workshop in its capacity as sector regulatory authority for monitoring the development and implementation of Abu Dhabi EHSMS in the food sector.

The event held at the Rocco Forte Hotel attended by more than 350 participants representing food establishments in Abu Dhabi.

The EHSMS will cover the entire food chain (from Farm to Fork), ranging from feeds, fertilisers and other inputs used in production to processing, preparation, manufacturing, packing, transporting, storing, distributing, displaying, servicing and selling of food products, said a senior official.

Saeed Jasim Mohamed, acting director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA, stated that the authority was all set to implement the system in the letter and spirit of the decision taken by the Government of Abu Dhabi.

Under this, all government and private entities operating within Abu Dhabi must align their plans and activities in line with the EHSMS.

According to Mohammed, it is mandatory for food establishments to comply fully with AD EHSMS upon receiving the official notification from ADFCA.

The new policy and law requires all employers to carry out risk assessments to determine the nature and extent of potential hazards and associated risk and develop effective control  measures, including safe systems of work, information, adequate, supervision and control  and suitable emergency management and contingency plans, he added.

Putting the onus of implementing the EHSMS on the employers, the rules and regulations clearly stipulate consultation with employees on matters pertaining to their health and safety, Mohammed stated.

Employers, he said, will not be allowed to charge their staffs for health and safety measures and provisions put in place.

Once implemented, food establishments will be required to conduct regular internal EHS inspections and audit, in addition to, and preparing the ground for inspections by ADFCA to ensure that the full range of measures is implemented in an effective manner.

Failure to implement the system effectively may result in penalties ranging from warning notices to cancellation of the commercial licenses, he added.

According to him, ADFCA was currently finalizing the finer details of the implementation plan in co-ordination with Abu Dhabi EHS Centre, which is the authority for monitoring the implementation of the system in the emirate.-TradeArabia News Service

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