ABU DHABI: The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has accredited 34 new slaughterhouses to export red and white meat as well as chilled and frozen meat products to the UAE. This brings the total number of accredited slaughterhouses outside the country to 186.
Moreover, to guarantee the availability of widely diverse food products in local markets and ensure uninterrupted food supply, MOCCAE has approved four new countries for exporting red and white meat to the UAE, including Malawi, Moldova, Belarus, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The complete list currently features 65 countries.
Eng Saif Al Shara, Assistant Undersecretary for the Sustainable Communities Sector and Acting Assistant Undersecretary for the Food Diversity Sector at MOCCAE, said: “The increase in the number of accredited meat exporters aligns with the Ministry’s strategy to enhance the UAE’s food security and sustainability through strengthening international food supply chains. We are in constant communication and coordination with countries that meet our food safety regulations with the aim of adding them to our list of approved meat exporters.”
He added: “Through increasing the number of food-trading partners, MOCCAE seeks to boost the UAE’s position as a leading food trade hub and guarantee continued availability of food to meet local demand. In addition, the Ministry applies an integrated set of accreditation processes in the countries of origin and at the UAE’s border crossings to ensure only foods that meet the highest safety criteria enter the country.”
In collaboration with its stakeholders, MOCCAE works relentlessly to boost the safety of imported foods, and protect consumers from harmful and adulterated foods through a host of regulations and processes covering all stages of the supply chain.These include implementing world-class food safety standards, issuing relevant laws, establishing intel exchange mechanisms with the concerned local and international entities, upgrading food safety control procedures, and raising public awareness about sound food-related practices.
To assess slaughterhouses seeking to export meat products to the UAE, a technical team verifies their compliance with applicable health best practices, food safety regulations, and manufacturing criteria.
MOCCAE regularly updates the list of accredited slaughterhouses in each country and the types of products they are allowed to export to the UAE. The list is published on the Ministry’s website and circulated to local food control authorities.
To confirm adherence to the halal criteria for animal slaughter, MOCCAE has contracted trusted organizations in the countries of origin to inspect the meat production process at the facilities, and submit reports to the National Committee for Meat Safety.
The committee comprises representatives of the Ministry and local food control authorities, including Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority as well as municipal entities in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah.
It is responsible for reviewing technical evaluation reports for foreign slaughterhouses, and making recommendations to MOCCAE on their accreditation as halal meat exporters, as well as constantly upgrading the health requirements and halal criteria for slaughterhouses in the UAE and abroad.
In case the reports issued by the appointed entities or by the border inspection teams testify to the slaughterhouse’s failure to adhere to the health or halal requirements, the Ministry immediately revokes its accreditation.
Given the high demand for meat and meat products in the UAE, their safety for consumption is a priority for MOCCAE. In this context, the Ministry verifies the documents accompanying inbound consignments shipped by accredited slaughterhouses, such as halal certificates, certificates of origin, and health certificates.
It also conducts physical inspections and laboratory tests on samples from shipments, and takes action against those who trade in food products that are non-compliant with food safety regulations or shariah rules.– TradeArabia News Service