The UAE has emerged as a global culinary hotspot with Michelin star restaurants and international chefs establishing their presence here. But do you know what goes into keeping your food safe in this country? From apps that check restaurant cleanliness to using artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to remotely inspect food, there are several things that officials in the country do to ensure that the food you eat is of the highest quality.

With a revised food code in the works, there will be clearer regulations about food allergens, health claims, new cooking techniques like ageing and smoking, as well as dishes that use raw or semi cooked ingredients like sushi and poke bowls.

Take a look at 5 techniques UAE authorities use to keep our food safe:

1. FoodWatch

This app by Dubai Municipality monitors everything from the cleanliness of the kitchen, to the temperature of cooking items, to the delivery of goods of every single restaurant in the city. Every restaurant owner or person in charge (PIC) must have this app on their phone and are encouraged to update it every day.

Restaurateurs are also able to set the temperatures at which certain foods should be cooked, raise complaints about suppliers, and take training programmes on this app. Those who are proactive on the app and maintain exceptional levels of food safety are usually rewarded with a higher rating of the restaurant.

A DM official demonstrates how the app is used. Watch the video below:

2. Biosecurity early reporting systems

This initiative by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) allows residents as well as food industry insiders to report incidents related to animal health, agricultural pests, food safety, and food contact surfaces safety. From verifying a rumour about a food product to reporting animal diseases or agricultural pests such as red palm weevils, this system allows a safe portal to report violations.

It can be accessed by visiting the website

3. National programme to monitor pesticide residue

This initiative was launched in 2022 to ensure the safety of the fruits, vegetables and other eatables grown in as well as imported to the UAE. According to Mohammed Mousa Al Ameeri from MOCCAE who was speaking at a food safety symposium, this national programme tests the level of pesticide residue in agricultural products to ensure that they are safe for consumption.

4. Zad Federal System

This federal smart portal lets food business operators register their companies and their food products in the UAE. It also helps operators get a No Objection Certificate to transfer any food consignments from one emirate to another, and gives them information about approved Islamic entities and slaughterhouses worldwide that are approved by the Ministry of Environment. This ensures that every food item brought in or sold in the country is vetted and deemed safe for consumption. Customers can also check registered food items on

5. The National Rapid Alert System for Food

Launched in 2017, this system identifies what measures must be put in place when serious food risks are detected. The system also regulates the banning and lifting of bans on adulterated and misbranded food. It applies a classification matrix to the food incidents as either high, medium or low.

It also includes the triggers for the classification, namely the severity of risk to public health, the size and scale of an incident and the number of people affected by it. More information about this system can be found on the MOCCAE website.

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