Recipe for disaster

Out of date meat found on Abu Dhabi supermarket shelves

Health inspectors revealed yesterday that they closed down meat counters at two major Abu Dhabi supermarkets in the past two months for relabelling and selling out of date products.

Lulu Hypermarket in Al Wahda Mall and Carrefour in Marina Mall were named in a report by Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA- the first time such a report has been released.

Violations included altering the sell-by dates on products and mixing old meat with new for sale, according to a report in the National.

Mohamed al Reyaysa, a spokesman for the ADFCA, told the paper: "We have a red line that we don't want anybody to consume any food that is below our health and safety standards."

According to the report, inspectors found meat past its sell-by date on sale in Carrefour as well as workers defrosting chicken in water.

"There are different meats which are repackaged by removing the old package and placing it in a new package with a new production and expiry date, or mixing it with new meat," the report said.

The counter was shut for three days in June and the authority destroyed 58kg of meat products, the paper reported. Carrefour could not be contacted for comment.

Inspectors also found meat past its sell-by date on sale at Lulu Hypermarket and that dates on cans of meat had been altered, according to the report.

Inspectors also found by-products from the deboning process, which are not fit for human consumption, in minced meat products for sale.

The counter was closed for three days in July.

A spokesman for Lulu said the company was working on improving standards.

"There have been a total of 43 visits to our store by ADFCA officials to date this year and only on three occasions have they found violations on our part," he said.

"We have taken serious note of these issues and have done a thorough investigation of the whole procedure to rectify any hitches."

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