Browsing 'food' News

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Food outlets in Qatar should expect more inspections in the run-up to and during Ramadan, which kicks off next month, officials have said.

Speaking to the Peninsula, a government representative said the inspections will be done by the health ministry, as well the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.

He continued:

“During the initial days of Ramadan, we will focus more on supermarkets and restaurants while during the middle of the month, we will focus on shops selling Garangao treats including nuts, dried fruits, chocolates and during the last phase of the month, we focus on abattoirs.”

The inspections are needed because employees tend to rush to meet demand and may “not give proper attention to the health standards and requirements,” he added.

Omar Chatriwala

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Muslims follow a lunar calendar, so the exact start of Ramadan won’t be announced until closer to the end of next month.

However, the first day of fasting is expected to be around Saturday, May 27.

And Eid Al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of the month, is estimated to start on June 25, Al Jazeera reports.

Avoiding food poisoning

During the daylight hours in Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and other pleasures.

They then break their fasts at sundown, and continue this tradition daily for about a month.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Despite the focus on abstention, Ramadan tends to be a social time, as workplace hours are shortened by law for almost everyone.

Additionally, restaurants and cafes that are closed during the day stay open late at night.

To avoid food poisoning and stomach ailments such as indigestion, authorities recommend people do not overeat after breaking their fasts.

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Speaking to the Peninsula, the government official also advised:

  • Avoiding shopping when hungry;
  • Frequenting busy instead of empty supermarkets;
  • Double-checking products’ expiration dates before buying; and
  • Not leaving food in the car for a long time.

Are you excited about Ramadan? Thoughts?

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar will not be instituting any bans on certain produce from Arab countries, as the UAE has recently announced plans to do.

But some consignments of produce will meet increased scrutiny when it comes into the country, local officials have said.

In a circular sent to ports across Qatar, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) ordered that shipments of fruits and vegetables from Lebanon, Oman, Egypt and Jordan only be released after undergoing a pesticide analysis, the Peninsula reports.

The move comes after the UAE announced this week that it would soon be banning produce from those four countries, as well as Yemen.

What’s banned

Effective May 15, the UAE has blacklisted these products for having unacceptably high levels of pesticide:

  • All varieties of peppers from Egypt;
  • Peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, squash, beans and aubergine from Jordan;
  • Apples from Lebanon;
  • Melons, carrots and watercress from Oman; and
  • All types of fruit from Yemen.

Any other produce from these countries will be accepted if they are certified to have met certain standards, UAE officials said.

The announcement has raised concerns about increased prices for produce in the Emirates, but also drew praise for protecting residents.

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

For its part, Qatar’s MOPH has demurred on instituting any blanket bans.

In a statement this week, it instead emphasized the strong measures it has in place to ensure the safety of food imports.

The ministry added that 510 samples of produce were tested for insecticides during the first quarter of this year.

Only some 67 of them were rejected due to high levels of the chemicals.

Ray Toh

A farm in Qatar.

As a desert nation, Qatar imports the vast majority of its food. However, it has been decreasing its reliance in recent years.

For example, a 2015 government report stated that the country grew nearly 24 percent of the fruits and vegetables consumed in Qatar in 2013. That’s up from 15 percent in 2009.

Thoughts?

Thousands of people have made their way to this year’s Qatar International Food Festival since it opened on Wednesday.

The event, which runs through April 8, is for the first time being held at the new Hotel Park off of the Corniche, near the Sheraton.

The festival is divided into several different sections, including hotel food, organic cuisine, Instagram businesses, international food and an area with different embassies serving dishes from their countries.

Doha News

Qatar International Food Festival 2017

Bean bags could be seen spread around a hill near the venue for people to relax and eat, and picnic benches have been set up across the park.

For those curious about what’s on offer, food blog Qatar Eating is compiling a list of all the food on sale and their prices.

Entertainment

While chowing down on small bites ranging from QR5 to QR35, there is lots to look at.

Doha News

Qatar International Food Festival 2017

Entertainment-wise, there is a live cooking theater and a kids zone with coloring, as well as a stage for musical performances in the embassy area.

Meanwhile, the Doha Film Institute is screening Made in Qatar short films April 2 and 7 at 7pm.

And fireworks shows are being held daily at 8pm.

The love we give away is the only love we keep 💙✨

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The festival will go from 2pm to 10pm on weekdays and from 2pm to 11pm on weekends until April 8.

More information about it is available on the QIFF’s website.

Have you been yet? Thoughts?