Food Safety in Ramadan

Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:37 pm

Month of Ramadan, many pilgrims observing the Umrah season consume more ready-made foods, which increases demand in food facilities around the Holy places. Unfortunately, the limited time available for food preparation, accompanied by the increased quantity of prepared, food may contribute to the loss of control over microbiological hazards, leading to food poisoning cases in restaurants that do not follow public health rules.

To avoid food poisoning, pilgrims are advised to avoid eating at a restaurant unless they are sure of its compliance with public health and hygiene food standards and of the hygiene and health of its food handlers. Make sure that meat products are cooked thoroughly; vegetables and fruits are washed and cleaned from soil; and ready-to-eat foods are stored in refrigerators properly and not exposed to high temperatures over long periods of time or to pests. Hot food must be served and consumed hot. In addition, do not consume food if you suspect any changes in color, taste or smell.

Be careful when using street vendors due to the increased risk of poor hygiene practices. Food poisoning may result in symptoms that require hospitalization. In some cases, food poisoning can be fatal. Food poisoning symptoms can be summarized as high fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

If you experience these symptoms, consult the nearest medical center for diagnosis. It should be noted that although everyone is vulnerable to infection by food pathogens, caution and additional protection must be provided for those with compromised immunity, such as the elderly, children, patients and pregnant women.

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