One of the most intensely debated topics, the issue of food safety is gaining prominence worldwide as governments are taking uncompromising measures to ensure the welfare of its citizens and residents. The spread of food borne illnesses and the overuse of harmful pesticides and chemicals have alerted individuals to the risks associated with consumption of contaminated food products.
World Health Organization estimates that over 125,000 young children under the age of 5 and 420,000 adults die due to consuming contaminated food each year. With over 200 diseases spread through food, pesticide chemicals which can cause severe long term negative health impacts and the worrying data which suggests that many harmful food bacteria are becoming resistant to treatment, the importance of food safety protocols cannot be underestimated.
The Ministry of Climate Change and Environments (MOCCAE) in Dubai recently banned five countries from exporting certain foods and vegetables into the UAE, citing concerns regarding the overuse of pesticides. Countries affected by the ban included Egypt, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen. The Dubai municipality’s commitment to food safety is also highlighted by the newly initiated food safety awareness program that is aimed at schools, helping educate children.
Noura Abdulla Al Shamsi, head of food permits and applied nutrition section in the Food Safety Department was quoted as saying “The Food Safety Department of the Dubai Municipality takes all the measures to ensure food safety along the food chain from farm to table. We aim to educate both parents and children about healthy eating and proper food handling practices which will compliment nutritional eating and food safety at the same time,”
Hydroponic farming tackles the issue of harmful pesticides and chemicals making it to our plates and into our bodies as the method of growing crops is pesticide free and uses no harmful chemicals. Plants grow faster using 90% less water as nutrients and water are received directly through the roots. Hydroponics farming also requires significantly less landmass.
Pegasus Agriculture Group, one of the leading pioneers of Hydroponic farming in the region has always reiterated its commitment towards food safety and growing pesticide free produce. Pegasus Group prides itself in abiding by the German food safety standards of ‘LFGB’
‘LFGB’ is Germany’s central food safety management act, serving as the core of other hygiene laws, regulations and guidelines. In recent years it has also been revised to match European standards. The comprehensive and extremely stringent testing procedure covers all food and food-related commodities which must pass related tests, to gain a report which states that “The product does not contain chemical hazardous material.” The ‘LFGB’ food security standard is visually represented by a “Knife and fork” symbol, which signifies that the product has passed the inspection raised by a number of European countries including Germany. The ‘’knife and fork” logo is credited with enhancing consumer confidence worldwide.
Chairman of Pegasus Agriculture Group, Mr. Mahmood Almas said ‘’Being compliant with the ‘’LFGB’’ German food safety standards is important, because the issue of food safety is a very prominent one for us. All our Hydroponic growing trays now adhere strictly to this standard as we continue to deliver high quality produce from our local Hydroponic farms, ensuring that UAE isn’t heavily reliant on imports from other countries, which might contain very high pesticide levels. Every individual is entitled to hygienic and healthy food options.”
Pegasus Agriculture continues to lead the countries of the MENA region in technologically advanced farming practices, helping countries to attain food safety and security.