Food safety control is integral to assuring the quality and standards associated with the importation, production, processing, preparation and disposal of food products. Food safety control is particularly important because approximately 90% of the food in Qatar is imported. The rapidly growing population continues to place greater strain on food inspection services and port authorities, with the need to increase food imports in parallel with the need to continually manage and pre-empt the threat of potential outbreaks.
Qatar experiences foodborne outbreaks every year with a variable number of causative organisms including e-coli, salmonella and typhoid food poisoning. As shown in the table below, the number of reported cases of food poisoning has risen steadily since the beginning of the century, though much of this rise may be due to the population growth.
Food Safety Objectives
The monitoring of food safety standards is the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Municipalities and Urban Planning, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Economy and Trade. This emphasizes the need for collaborative cross-sectoral policy development and decision-making to provide an effective Food Safety Framework for Qatar. The strategy’s Food Safety Objectives seek to raise awareness among the public about the health risks associated with consuming unsafe food. Additionally, a key focus of the objectives is the promotion of a strong food safety culture among all parties involved in the supply chain.