Foodwatch is a cutting-edge digital platform for food safety and nutrition anchored in Dubai Municipality's vision of making Dubai the healthiest, happiest and the most sustainable city.
The Food Safety Department of Dubai Municipality developed the Foodwatch platform to facilitate data exchange between authorities, food businesses, service providers and consumers. By utilizing digital monitoring techniques, data analytics and customized applications, the platform will offer full traceability of foods with validated ingredient and nutritional information. Smart contracts, services and customized applications will deliver every user a unique experience based on their requirements. Digitalized exchange of data will enable delivery of real-time assurance based on predictive insight, from what went wrong to what is likely to go wrong.
The platform will connect all stakeholders, products and processes in a unique and trusted digital network and make life better for everyone. When it reaches optimum utilization, Foodwatch will fundamentally facilitate trust among parties and decrease transaction costs by reducing duplication, reconciliation, and record-keeping tasks.
A multi-disciplinary team from the Food Safety and Information Technology Departments of Dubai Municipality manages the Foodwatch platform. Authorized personnel from Science Tribune currently manage the data collection process.
Food Safety Mandate
Digital technology has the potential to affect every aspect of food safety, enabling organizations to identify and manage food safety risks more precisely. Foodwatch provides a powerful infrastructure that will not only digitalize documents, procedures and records, but also serve as an interface for real-time interaction. As a single platform that connects all users that includes the government, food establishments and service providers, Foodwatch will help users verify anything and everything with certainty across the food supply chain.
A Digital Identity
Every organization in the system and everyone using the system including the persons in charge (PIC) of food safety in every food establishment, food handlers, consultant, trainers and auditors will have a unique, safe and secure digital identity.
Near Zero Paperwork
Food safety management systems have been largely paper based and it costs both food industry and the government enormous time and resources to maintain and verify records and documents related to these systems. Foodwatch will transform this by building trust around digital, immutable, permanent and auditable record-keeping. Documents related to supplier verification, certification, product and process information, training documents, temperature monitoring records, pest monitoring program, cleaning and disinfection records etc. are some of the examples of documents that would be fully digitalized.
Traditional documents of approvals and permits that can be tampered with or could be lost will be replaced with 'Smart Permits' (inspired by smart contracts).
Data Driven Decisions
By moving to digital records, Foodwatch will open up information silos and enable data sharing and connectivity with other digital ecosystems. This will help Dubai Municipality and the food businesses make data-driven strategies and decisions.
Built in rules and algorithms in the platform will validate information and provide instant decisions and real-time permits. This will significantly improve the services offered by the Food Safety Department.
End to End Traceability
Foodwatch will make it possible to quickly trace food products to their source for enhanced food authenticity and safety. By connecting food producers, processors, distributors, supplier, retailers and regulators and by providing immutable records, Foodwatch will provide enhanced visibility and accountability throughout the food supply chain.
Have a look at the short video to understand more about FoodWatch via or click on this link
Training Request Management, Attendance Management, Certification and Attestation process for Basic Food Hygiene Training and PIC Training has been fully digitalised from the 1st of May 2019.
Step 1: Register the PIC user or the food handler on the entity interface (watch the video instructions )
Step 2: Select the User, Select your preferred Training Centre and Apply for the training
Step 3: The Training Centre accepts the request and provides a tentative date for the training
Step 4: The Trainer confirms the attendance of the trainee 15 minutes before the start of the training
Step 5: The Trainer enters the score after evaluation and completes the certification on line
In the case of PIC training, the Awarding Body would be conducting the examination and entering the score and the certification decision.
All Training Centres must be registered on Foodwatch and should have the Training Activity listed. Trainers in the centre should be registered under the training centre to access the qualifications.
If there are Internal Trainers, they need to register a separate 'training entity' under the parent entity. Contact the Foodwatch registration team for further information.
Trainers must ensure that they are registered as a Technical Expert on Foodwatch with the full profile of qualifications and expertise declared. Once this is done, the trainer can provide qualifications to trainees.
PIC of food establishments should enter the data of the Food Handlers under the 'Reference People' tab on the Entity Dossier. Once the data is entered, the PIC can choose the preferred training centre and request for Basic Food Hygiene Training.
Once the request is placed, the training centre can 'accept' the request by confirming the date of training.
Obesity is a global public health concern leading to increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and other health problems among children and adults alike. Up to 2-3 fold increase has been noted in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the UAE between 1989 and 2017 and consumption of foods with poor nutritional value has been identified as a major contributor to the growing obesity epidemic.
Dubai Municipality has undertaken several programs and initiatives that would help residents pursue a healthy lifestyle and the latest of the initiatives is the introduction of calorie labeling in food service businesses. Over 1 billion food decisions are made each year by people who eat from Dubai’s food outlets and calorie labeling will allow individual consumers to make informed decisions about the foods they purchase. Better availability of nutritious food would mean that food service businesses can positively impact health of both residents as well as the several million tourists who visit Dubai each year.
The Food Permits and Applied Nutrition Section will be supporting the food businesses in this mission to improve the nutritional quality of the foods. Establishments can obtain nutritional information about foods via the Nutrition interface of Foodwatch from 15 June 2019. Foodwatch will also be providing recipe based evaluation programs from July 2019.
Food safety checks are an important part of a good food safety management system. A lot of paper-based records and follow up visits and calls need to be carried out to ensure that the food safety management system is working effectively. The self inspection tool on FoodWatch Connect is your ultimate tool to ensure that you not only record the checks, but also take follow up action at the same. It will help you manage food safety within your organisation and also manage your service providers such as training centers, suppliers, transportation contractors and pest contractors.
Role of Person in Charge:
A person in charge has to ensure that the food premises are clean and hygienic before the start of food operations in a shift. This should include a check of the entire area, equipment cleaning, floor, walls and ceiling and the surroundings. Once the check is made, the PIC has to enter the observations on the ‘Start up’ check. A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is all that is required in the form of ‘checks’. If any problems are noticed, the PIC must use the ‘Equipment Check’ to enter the details of what was observed such as an unclean equipment or an area.
He or she has to check the food handlers before they start their work. If there are any ill employees, the person must be excluded from the work. Personal hygiene must also be verified at this time. Do not check the box if there are ill employees or personal hygiene issues.
If pest issues are found, you can directly send that observation to your contractor. Follow up action is automatically initiated in this case.
You MUST perform operations checks daily and if there are multiple shifts, before the shift begins.
Role of Secondary PICs
Food temperature checks must be verified regularly by the Secondary PICs ( operations folks such as the chefs, supervisors etc). As a part of your legal requirements, you must perform as many checks as possible to ensure that all products that you serve are cooked. Cooking, hot holding, cooling etc should be verified for every batch or based on your own risk assessment process. In the case of hot holding, temperature has to be verified every hour of holding. In the case of cooling, temperature must be recorded at the start and end of cooling.
However, not all data has to be entered in to Foodwatch Connect. Any deviations MUST be recorded. If there are no deviations, at least one record per process should be recorded per shift.
In case there are any issues with the holding, with an associated equipment failure, details must be provided in the ‘equipment check’. For instance, if the hot holding temperature of rice is lower than required in a particular bain-Marie, the PIC has to record the temperature of rice and then add an additional record under ‘equipment check’ and indicate the action you have taken (say, schedule maintenance).
It is also important to verify the performance of the equipment daily. At least 4 different equipments must be verified daily and details recorded.
Food should be accepted only from approved suppliers. Verify the supplier's Food Safety Performance status using Foodwatch. Simply search the business name of license and click on the QR code that appears on the entities interface to see their Food Safety Rating.
For checking the permit status of the Food Transportation Vehicle, type in the Plate number of the vehicle under 'Delivery check'. Report any un-registered vehicle directly to the Dubai Municipality.
Checking the delivery of foods and accepting what is safe and rejecting what is unsafe is a critical step in managing food safety. A business should record at least 4 checks in a day during receiving of food items. However, all rejections MUST be recorded on FoodWatch.
PIC's can use the Smart Permits tool to request permits for Layout Assessment, Approval of Consultancy and Training Companies, Approval of Food and Nutrition Safety Internal Trainer, Food Activity At Events, Mobile Food Truck, Non-Halal Food Activity, School Supply Permit, Kiosk, Vending Machine, Food Promotion and Temporary Permit for changes related to food labels or packages.
You can apply for Food Permits from the 'entity interface.' Find out here how you can easily apply for these permits.
While you are expected to check food temperature as per the Food Code and standard operating procedures in your establishment, you must always prioritize entry of details of ‘high risk’ foods on Connect. Remember, all exceptions must be recorded. Any deviation from the requirement must be Recorded on Connect.
Ensuring that all your preparation areas, equipment, food vehicles, and food handler details are on your entity interface is a Pre-requisite to using FoodWatch connect.
FoodWatch Connect has a very powerful data analysis system at the backend and you will be able to see different trends over time. Primary PICs can use dashboards to view the performance.
New to Foodwatch?
If you are not familiar with Foodwatch or similar platforms, you are likely to face some difficulties while registering.
Remember these rules of thumb:
- You need a good internet connection while registering to avoid any loss of data.
- You can register yourself on the platform as a new user. Follow the instructions on the page.
- Remember to keep the webpage active during data entry. Leaving it idle for more than a minute would log you out of the system. This is an inbuilt security rule.
- Fields that are mandatory for registration of personnel are identified with * sign. However, there will be some time allowance for users to return and enter new data or correct the data that is provided. The data will be locked in April 2019 after which you will not be able to edit your profile without authorization.
- Once personal registration is complete, you will receive a notification stating that you have been approved as an user. You can then register your organization (entity) and create your organization's profile.
Registration of Organizations (Entities)
Entities including food establishments, service providers and equipment and product suppliers must register on Foodwatch.
You can contact the FoodWatch team for registration and data entry. To reach the Foodwatch agent,
Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Call +971 4 2230457
Food Safety Department will be conducting regular workshops in different locations of Dubai to enhance the understanding about Foodwatch.
You can book for the next session here Contact Session Booking
To reach the Foodwatch agent for registration or data entry:
Mail to email@example.com
Call +971 4 2230457