Qatar has imposed stringent measures to ensure safety of imported food products.
the Ministry of Public Health has asked all agricultural produce consignments from Lebanon, Oman, Egypt and Jordan to be released only after pesticide analysis.
The products on the scrutiny list includes all varieties of pepper (chilly) from Egypt; pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, squash (koosa), beans and eggplant from Jordan; apples from Lebanon; and sweet melon, carrots and watercress (jirjir/ rocket salad) from Oman.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Public Health stressed, in a statement issued yesterday, that all necessary measures to ensure the safety of imported vegetables and fruits are being taken. This is done in cooperation with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and all relevant bodies through the Joint Human Food Control Committee.
The ministry stated that some 510 samples of vegetables and fruits samples were analysed to verify the presence of pesticide residues, in the first quarter of 2017. Of this, 67 samples from various countries were rejected.
The ministry also stated that the methods used in the country for the analysis of pesticide residues on food products, are among the best and most sensitive . Hence the system assures high accuracy even in detecting low presence of pesticide residues.
Meanwhile, retailers in Qatar are expecting price variation and slight shortage of fruits and vegetables with the stricter controls placed in Qatar and ban placed on them in UAE.
“Jordan is the leading supplier of aubergine and lettuce in Qatari market, so this ruling could have some effect on pricing. Also, most of the fruits to Qatar come through UAE, and so this ban could affect the pricing of the fruits,” said an official at one of the oldest retail chains in Qatar.
Some retail chains here stressed that delay in certification and inspections would affect the quality of the vegetables and fruits.