No pesticide in tea bags sold in Dubai

Dubai Municipality denies rumour circulating on social media

Staff Report
17:46 March 15, 2017

Dubai: Tea bags sold in Dubai are free of pesticides, Dubai Municipality’s Food Safety Department said on Wednesday.

The department was clarifying on a rumour being circulated on the social media about tea bags containing Epichlorohydrin, a substance used in making pesticides. Rebutting the rumour, the civic body said laboratory tests conducted by the department have proved that the tea bags are free from this material.

The municipality has confirmed that it has tested different samples of tea bags of several brands to check their safety and to make sure that they do not cause any harm to the consumers’ health and also to confirm that they are compliant with global specifications and all lab tests proved the rumours wrong.

Eman Al Bastaki, director of Food Safety Department, said in a press release that the municipality does not spare any effort in maintaining public health and protect the public from any risks. “We have devoted a large force of observers and inspectors in all areas [tasked with] the protection of public health in terms of waste, food and pest control,” she said.

Al Bastaki confirmed that there are clear directives from the municipality director-general on this area so as not to show any complacency at all in protecting people, and to emphasise on the application of all local orders and health regulations as well as the Gulf and international rules to protect public health.

The official denied the presence of any impurities or carcinogenic substances in the food in circulation in Dubai.

“Before being circulated and sold to the public, the food items in Dubai are subjected to routine health inspections. They have to undergo a comprehensive analysis to make sure that they are free from anything that is detrimental to the health and safety of consumers and the community in Dubai. We ensure that they are free from the dangers of any illegal substances,” she said.

“They are also tested to make sure that they are free of carcinogens in order to preserve public health and safety of citizens and residents, and all foodstuffs adhere to international specifications in food control,” said Al Bastaki.

She pointed out that all foods that enter the emirate undergo various rounds of inspections. “The documents attached to food consignments undergo a thorough scrutiny and then random samples are taken by the Food Safety Department for lab tests on a regular basis before letting them out in the market. The food samples are subjected to microbiological, chemical, and radiological tests by the Food and Environment Laboratory Section of Dubai Central Laboratory Department.”

Al Bastaki urged the public not to be deceived by rumours circulated by some people on online networks and social networking sites on the specifications and components of the food traded in the country.