DOHA: Bakeries and eateries have been barred from using newspapers, magazines and polyethylene bags for packaging hot or cold food.
The State Cabinet yesterday approved a draft decision issued by the Minister of Public Health earlier regulating the use of plastic, foam and paper for packaging food.
“Under the ministerial decision packaging and provision of all kinds of human food must be in packages conforming to approved standards. The use of polyethylene, newspapers or different paper publications is prohibited in the packaging and packing of human food. The use of food and beverages’ cups, dishes or cutlery not conforming to the approved standard specifications is also prohibited,” the Qatar News Agency reported yesterday.
Dr Mohammed bin Saif Al Kuwari, assistant undersecretary at the Department of Laboratories and Standardisation Affairs at the Ministry of Environment said yesterday that the Cabinet decision will give more teeth to the Ministerial decision that has already been implemented.
“The Cabinet has now approved what was earlier proposed by the Joint Food Monitoring Committee at the Supreme Council of Health. What is new in the decision is that it is more specific on issues like banning the use of newspapers for packaging food,” Al Kuwari told The Peninsula.
There are bakeries and other outlets still using newspaper or magazine sheets to cover bread and meat. This is strictly banned, he added.
Al Kuwari said the Cabinet decision will also lead to strict monitoring of plastic bags, cups and plates used for packaging food. Only those products that meet the required standards and specifications will be allowed for sale in the market.
“There are outlets using plastic plates and cups in microwave ovens without meeting the quality standards. Such practices will be strictly curbed,” said Al Kuwari. The Ministerial decision had banned the use of plastic bags, cups and plates that do not meet the “food grade” standards for packaging or serving hot food and beverages. Use of foam for the purpose also remains banned. The Peninsula