The Qatar General Organisation for Standards and Metrology has released a statement reminding food producers, distributors and vendors that they are required to strictly follow safety guidelines set for food packaging materials.
The organisation said that sellers including restaurants and cafes are not following official guidelines for packaging and serving food. It warned sellers against the use of prohibited materials such as polyethylene bags and newspapers in food packaging.
Previously, the Ministry of Environment in Qatar had banned the use of foam for serving hot food and drinks, and called for new requirements for plastic and paper used as packaging. The move mandated the sellers to carry a note mentioning that all plastic or paper cups and plates are suitable for packaging cold food and drink. This rule had also been mandated for plastic and foam products that are used to pack cold food and drinks. Use of foam is permitted only for cold food while food grade plastic for hot food and drinks.
It has been noted that despite a ban being implemented in association with the Joint Food Monitoring Committee at the Supreme Council of Health, several eateries are still using plastic and foam cups, boxes and plates for serving hot food and drinks.
In September 2013, the Qatar authorities mandated that all bakery items including hot bread need to be offered in food grade plastic packaging following a ban on using the use of polyethylene, newspapers or other types of paper for food packaging.
As per the new rules, each packaging product should contain information on whether it is suitable for hot or cold food.
Plastic and foam cups that are used for cold drinks should contain a note in sky blue colour mentioning that they are suitable for cold food.
Image: Qatar authorities mandated that all bakery items should be offered in food grade plastic packaging. Photo: courtesy of artur84/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.