Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Arabia Prepares Plan to Control Ports, Food Facilities during Hajj Season | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh- The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has intensified its monitoring and awareness programs in Makkah and Madinah regions, coinciding with the arrival of the pilgrims, in order to ensure the safety of the pilgrims’ food and the safety and efficiency of the devices and medicinal products they use.

Executive Chairman of the SFDA Hisham al-Juzaei said in a statement Wednesday that the authority has developed an integrated plan for this year’s Hajj season, including intensifying the control role in ports and increasing inspection campaigns for food establishments and catering restaurants serving pilgrims.

Juzaei added that the authority has dedicated a large part of its activities during the Hajj season to raise the awareness of the pilgrims in Madinah and Makkah in the best means to prevent food poisoning and diseases transmitted by food, provide advice for keeping the medicine and ensuring its effectiveness and the use of medical devices and products.

The SFDA plan includes the inspection of food, medicine and medical equipment through a number of airports (the city of pilgrims at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah), Jeddah Islamic port and the land borders (Batha border, Haditha border, the Ammar border, Judaidah port at Arar, and Wadiah border).

It also include health control of the food facilities in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Holy Capital and the Secretariat of Madinah Region, participation in the work of the Quartet to investigate incidents of food poisoning in Madinah area, preparation of field studies related to food safety and assessment of the status of food establishments.

SFDA launched an integrated plan to raise awareness about the safety of food, medicines and medical devices during this year’s Hajj season. It includes awareness campaigns through social media, distribution of awareness leaflets to pilgrims at airports and awareness lectures for employees in food establishments, contributing in reducing the cases of food poisoning.