Cleanliness priority for 42pc of consumers

Cleanliness is top priority for 42 per cent of consumers at the outdoor catering facilities, including restaurants and cafes, according to a survey. Twenty-three per cent of respondents gave priority to staff cleanliness at the outlets, said the survey whose results were announced at a recently-concluded food safety conference.
People from different governorates were interviewed for the study.
The survey was aimed at assessing consumers’ knowledge about diseases transmitted due to the presence of bacteria in food.
It sought to gather information on consumer practices and their knowledge about prevention of food-borne diseases.
The conference also highlighted the potential risks posed by the food consumed by students at schools as different conditions, including climate, can affect the level of food safety.
The conference, citing a study conducted to assess level of food safety at primary schools in northern Greece, said the most important factors affecting food safety are unhealthy hygiene conditions, refrigeration methods and lack of food safety awareness among the staff handling and storing food.
Interestingly, ready-made foods posed a serious risk as pathogens found on these foods can be transmitted by food processors.
The conference made several recommendations on food safety, including raising awareness about threats posed by unsafe food.
The conference on Food Safety and Municipal Work 2018, held in Muscat, was organised by the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources in cooperation with Sultan Qaboos University and authorities concerned.
Dr Aideen McKevitt of Institute of Food and Health Science Centre in Dublin, said: “Consumers have the right to safe food.
Food industry stakeholders have a duty to ensure only safe food is released in the market.”