Food Grade or no Food Grade? The confusion still prevails in the market, six months after the authorities made it mandatory for all bakeries to use “food grade” plastic wrappers for packaging Arabic bread.
The Joint Food Monitoring Committee at the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) recently called on the public to report any violation of the new rule, saying all plastic wrappers used for packaging Arabic bread (khubz) must show the internationally approved logo of Food Grade (Fork and Cup) and a code for each company.
Enquiries in the market yesterday revealed that the rule is not followed by all the bakeries.
At least one popular bakery which has branches all over the country was found to be selling khubz in plastic wrappers that do not carry the food grade logo or the company code.
Most bakeries were using wrappers with the approved logo, but a slightly different logo (Fork, Cup and Knife) could be found on wrappers used by one bakery.
The authorities have asked customers to look for the logo but most people seemed to be unaware of the new rule.
The Peninsula could not spot a single customer buying Arabic bread from shops checking for the logo, to ensure that the product is properly packaged.
“I always check whether the bread is warm and it is my preferred brand, but I never knew that I should also look for the quality mark,” said an expatriate customer.
Eateries have also been allowed to use food grade plastic boxes, cups and plates for packaging hot food and beverages but many outlets are still using plastic products that are not certified as food grade.
“We have not received any new instruction from municipality in this regard. We have been using plastic plates and foam boxes for packaging barbeque, grilled chicken and other hot food items,” said a salesman working with a fast food outlet in the Airport area.
Some hypermarkets are also using plain plastic boxes for hot dishes which don’t not carry the food grade logo.
The authorities had earlier said that cups, boxes and plates made of food grade plastic had been made available in the market for the use of eateries and other food outlets.
However, it is not clear whether the logo is uniform for all food grade products.
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