ABU DHABI // The UAE has banned all non-heat-treated poultry products from parts of the United States and Malaysia due to concerns about the spread of bird flu.
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment decided to take action following an alert from the World Organisation for Animal Health.
The import ban affects all types of live domestic, wild and ornamental birds, as well as chicks, eggs and bird remains from Lincoln, Tennessee and the province of Kelantan in Malaysia.
Majid Sultan Al Qasimi, the ministry’s director of Animal Health and Development Department, said the ban was “based on the notification from the World Organisation for Animal Health about the registration of highly pathogenic avian influenza in commercial farms in Tennessee, USA [and Kelantan, Malaysia]”.
Mr Al Qasimi said the ministry was determined to raise the level of food safety to protect consumers.
“It works to implement the Federal Law No 10 of 2015 on the safety of food, which applies to all establishments licensed to trade food or feed, and consignments coming to the country or passing through its territory,” he said.
The law also applies in all stages of the food chain, from primary production through processing until it reaches the consumer.
The ministry is responsible for standardising and supervising food safety procedures and works in partnership with local food authorities.
It is also working on developing policies, strategies and legislation to ensure food safety throughout the food chain and regulating trade activities to enhance food security.
When a shipment of food product is received by authorities, the documents accompanying the consignments [certificate of origin, health certificate and other required certificates such as Halal certificate] are strictly verified, said Mr Al Qasimi.
The authorities also screen the product identification cards to check that it complies with UAE standards and examines samples of the food through laboratory tests to ensure they are safe to eat.