Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) stated that each food product has its own state of preservation, and the state and duration of preservation may differ from what is written on the product after opening or cooking.
Therefore, the SFDA has called upon all stakeholders to not mix surplus foods from Suhoor and Iftar tables with several or surplus foods from different days to avoid exposure to food contamination, on 18 April 2022.
SFDA is responsible for regulating, overseeing, and controlling food, drug, and medical devices, as well as setting mandatory standard specifications thereof, be it imported or locally manufactured.
The control and/or testing activities can be conducted in the SFDA or other agency’s laboratories. Moreover, the SFDA is in charge of consumers’ awareness on all matters related to food, drug and medical devices, and all other products and supplies.
SFDA stresses the need to avoid food waste when preparing food or shopping, by writing a specific list of the most important purchases, checking the expiry date of foods and their consumption before they exceed their shelf life, and starting with the oldest and then the latest.
SFDA also urged people to avoid paying attention to discount offers by buying a large number of foods that they may not need. Also, it urged people to avoid buying in case they are not hungry so they do not buy more foods than they need.
It is advised by SFDA to get rid of the excess foods that were touched with hands because they are often subject to food contamination.
As for foods and ready-to-eat meals that have not been touched by hand, it is recommended to divide them and put them in small, shallow containers, cover them tightly, and then cool them directly.
SFDA warned that caution should be taken when reheating foods and preserved foods prepared for consumption (chilled or frozen), as they must be heated to a temperature of not less than 75°C before eating them.
It is also advised to put the surplus of Iftar or Suhoor in a high place in the refrigerator to avoid contamination as a result of falling parts or leakage of liquids from fresh foods such as meat.
Iftar can be defined as the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan, while Suhoor is the meal consumed early in the morning before fasting, before dawn, during or outside the Islamic month of Ramadan ie the meal taken before the Fajr prayer.
SFDA also stated that it must also be ensured that the sensory characteristics of the food (taste, colour, and smell) are not changed in the previously prepared food, and in the event of a change, the food becomes unfit for consumption and must be disposed of straight away.