Having opened the inaugural session, Lootah said: “The civic body is organizing this important conference on food safety in the context of many significant occasions, events and developments in the emirate of Dubai within few years to come.
Under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Minister of Finance, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Municipality, Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality has inaugurated the 9th Dubai International Food Safety Conference, being held on Sunday and Monday 9-10 November at Dubai World Trade Center.
Having opened the inaugural session, Lootah said: “The civic body is organizing this important conference on food safety in the context of many significant occasions, events and developments in the emirate of Dubai within few years to come. Upcoming Expo 2020, declaration of Dubai as the capital of Islamic Economy and the launch of Dubai Smart Government and Smart City initiative are on the top of our priorities and we work hard to achieve our desired goals together with all government and private organizations,”.
“I am extremely happy to observe the increasing participation of delegates from different countries in Dubai’s international food safety conference, which has already become a global platform for experts in the industry from all parts of the world,” Lootah said.
“During the four days of conference and workshops, participants get a very rare opportunity to meet international food safety industry experts and share the knowledge and experiences,” he said.
“The UAE imports 90 per cent of food for its daily needs which represents 60% of the total food traded in the GCC countries. Dubai is the third largest re-exporting hub of food stuff in the world where the external trade of Dubai reached 13 billion dollar in 2013 and is expected be doubled in 2020,” said Eng. Khalid Sharif Al Awadi, director food control department at Dubai Municipality during his speech.
“As Dubai is geared up to go smart in its overall procedures and services provided by government departments, the food control department of Dubai municipality would like to be the forerunner in the field of food safety taking all required steps without any delay. The department already started implementing the smart inspector, smart supervisor and smart consumer initiatives through its recently developed applications,” Al Awadi said.
“Our team is well prepared to confront any future challenges in the field of food safety. The civic body is committed to take all necessary steps to tackle any food borne diseases and related issues. It’s worth noting that by 2020, there would be a growth of 2.3 per cent in the population of Dubai only along with the increase in new jobs by 95,000 and number of visitors 98.5 million,” he said.
Frank Yiannas, Vice President of Food Safety at Walmart delivered the keynote presentation and said : “Food safety awareness is at an all-time high, the food system is becoming increasingly complex, and foodborne outbreaks continue to be reported. Despite the fact that we – as a profession – have conducted millions of microbiological tests, trained vast numbers of food workers, and conducted countless number of inspections at home and abroad, food safety remains a significant public health challenge. Why is that?
“To advance food safety into the 21st century and further reduce the global burden of foodborne disease, there is no question about it, we need greater food safety innovations. However, there is considerable debate in the profession on what and how exactly things need to change. For example, some food safety professionals believe that further reductions in foodborne disease hinge on science and technology, such as new detection methods, pathogen interventions, and new food production processes – often referred to as High Tech. Others, in contrast, believe that improvements in food safety are more dependent on highly skilled, motivated people and organizational cultures – referred to as High Touch”.
He also presented some examples of best practices and shed light on the latest developments in the area of food safety.
The conference had a special session for students with different programs and workshops dedicated for the college and university students.
Poster presentation will be held in the second day while the fourth day will focus on the Halal Food Symposium which will include presentations of Dubai Municipality on latest developments in the field of Halal Food regulations and lectures by international experts.
Originally published on www.khaleejtimes.com