‘Dubai New Regulations Challenge Nutritional Claims’

 

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Nutritional information can help diners choose between products and keep a check on the amount of foods they’re eating that are high in fat, salt and added sugars. Some restaurateurs already use ‘dietary guidelines’ to help expand and reshape menu offerings, but soon diners visiting all catering outlets in Dubai will be able to verify if a healthy meal really is healthy. That’s because over the next three to four years, Dubai Municipality will phase in new regulations for restaurants and catering companies to make sure their nutritional claims are correct.

These new guidelines, which will begin to be enforced from early 2017, were announced at the first Dubai International Conference of Applied Nutrition, held alongside Gulfood Manufacturing 2016. “This is a very progressive move,” says Bobby Krishna, Food Safety Specialist. “It will require all catering businesses to back-up their claims about the health and nutritional benefits of the food they offer by providing documentary evidence. The nutritional value of foods items will be made clear in the menus too.”

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These new regulations, which first appear in schools next year, will help diners to make healthy food and beverage choices and serve as the foundation for vital nutrition policies and programmes across Dubai. “I think this will be welcomed by good restaurants and other food outlets throughout Dubai, as well as the consumer. Outlets with approved menus will be provided with a logo from Dubai Municipality, plus a permit that will allow them to advertise the nutritional claims that they make,” explains Bobby Krishna.

The Dubai International Conference of Applied Nutrition was extremely well attended, with some of the most noteworthy initiatives and programmes from around the world featured, incorporating a well-balanced view from government, regulatory, research and industry perspectives.

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In the U.A.E., the National Agenda leading to the Vision 2021 emphasises the importance of prevention and seeks to reduce lifestyle related diseases such diabetes, high blood lipids, high blood pressure, early maturation, gynaecological abnormalities, pulmonary diseases, skin disorders and orthopaedic problems. With this in mind, Dubai Municipality is committed to doing its best to boost the health of the nation and fulfil its vision, with Bobby Krishna concluding: “The new regulations will make a significant contribution in helping the consumer choose wisely when eating out, and in turn will improve the health of the Dubai public.”

  • By Bilal Al Halabi, Al Halabi Ref. & Kitchen Equipment www.al-halabi.com


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