Some citizens, residents and nutrition experts urged to stop using open vehicles in transporting fresh fruits and vegetables to avoid contamination and keep their nutritional value for the benefit of consumers, Al Arab has reported.
They appealed to the Municipal Ministry for measures to improve the current transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables to the Central Market and retail stores since they represent a big portion of food consumed in the country therefore there is a need to ensure their safety and quality when they reach the consumers.
Nutrition experts suggested using vehicles designed to transport fresh fruits and vegetables so as not to contaminate or lose their nutritional value especially during summer when exposure to high temperatures can easily lead to spoilage. Dr Sarah Yassin, a nutritionist, said in hot countries like Qatar fresh fruits and vegetables can easily lose their nutritional benefits when exposed to direct sunlight and that cars designed especially for transporting them should be used. “The Ministries of Municipality and Health should take measures to protect the consumers,” she said.
Another nutrition expert Dr Aysha Saqr was of the same view saying although fruits and vegetables are less susceptible to damage than meat high temperatures can pose risks to these food items during transportation.
She noted it is safe to transport these food products in winter but more equipped cars should be used during summer for transporting such perishable products especially winter fruits and vegetables which are mostly imported from other countries. Ali, a businessman, said transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables in a proper way to maintain their freshness when they reach the consumers has been among the problems in the Central Market.
“High temperatures are a threat to the quality of fruits and vegetables especially when they are kept open for long periods in the market before they are sold to a retailer who will then transport them in an open vehicle,” he said, adding the problem is not only transportation but also handling and storage in retail stores which make it virtually impossible to reach the consumer uncontaminated.
He appealed to concerned officials to be strict with regard to transportation of fruits and vegetables and conduct regular checks by experts on those sold in the market, in addition to providing proper storage areas in ports and airport for all perishable food items.
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