Digitization and automation of food systems in Dubai Municipality for training on food safety principles, management of permits and approval of food transport vehicles
Dubai, 20 January 2022: Dubai Municipality launched My Food initiative, which stems from the Municipality's efforts to promote digital transformation in its systems and services related to food safety, and to automate it to keep pace with technical development in this field, in addition to saving time and effort of customers and ensuring the provision of Food Safety Department services according to the finest and best international standards.
My Food initiative depends on the digitization and automation of a number of basic operations in the food safety system, which were carried out through millions of records and documents carried out by more than 20,000 food establishments in the Emirate of Dubai.
The initiative aims to enhance the satisfaction of Food Safety Department customers by providing integrated services with the concerned authorities. It reduces the cost of providing the service, in addition to contributing to reducing the environmental impact by limiting paper consumption.
It is considered the first digital transformation journey in the world undertaken by a regulatory authority in order to enhance food safety in the Emirate of Dubai.
The food safety program in Dubai aims to protect consumers by ensuring the safety of food handled, which amounts to more than 7.9 million tons of food and 3 billion meals consumed by 3.3 million residents and 20 million tourists annually.
It ensures access to safe and healthy food that is being produced and traded in more than 20,000 licensed food establishments in Dubai by obtaining the necessary permits before engaging in food activities.
In addition, the program works on enhancing the knowledge efficiency of food handlers and qualifying them in the field of food safety and the use of safe and approved food transportation, which contributed to achieving a level of customers' trust and satisfaction with services by 96.5%.
My Food initiative has achieved digital transformation of all steps of the food permit management process, training, issuing certificates and approving means of food transportation. The electronic link and smart tracking between the concerned systems has contributed to saving 75% of the time it takes to obtain permits and training services that affect more than 300,000 of workers in the food sector, in addition to providing and analyzing big data to make appropriate predictive decisions.
This initiative provided an opportunity to enable an active participation of the community in enhancing the compliance of food establishments with food safety requirements by reviewing the evaluation of food establishments and food products registered through the Dubai Municipality App.
Training on food safety principles:
The Food Safety Training Management System comprises comprehensive steps for accrediting trainers, training centers, training materials, providing training, evaluating trainees, in addition to awarding certificates. In the past, all these steps were done manually through document verification and approval with all information kept in a paper archive.
Changing this service includes defining a digital identity for each person, converting manual transactions into digital transactions, transforming manual approvals into automated processes based on algorithms that enable instant decisions, as well as issuing traceable digital contracts and certificates. In the future, the initiative will also include providing an e-learning platform.
The data analysis system will be linked to the food inspection program, preventing violations before they occur through predictive training.
Permit Management System
The previous permit management system relies on manual documentation and approvals. The conversion process includes changing requirements, automating transactions, integrating with related systems, and issuing permissions based on algorithmic rules. The new system enabled the Municipality to automate the permit issuance mechanism and verify compliance with approved standards to ensure food safety. The system also immediately cancels permits in case of non-compliance, which ensures that food establishments will comply with all approved procedures and standards.
Approval of food transport vehicles
The previous system of food transport vehicles relies on documentation and includes multiple visits of customers to service centers, in addition to the use of many documents. Food transport permits are issued through third party vehicle testing. Previously, the data was not available for analysis in most cases because the information is distributed to many stakeholders, and were kept in Excel files.
The initiative includes digitizing the entire information of food transport vehicles, ensuring that the information is correct by comparing it with the RTA database, and ensuring that all food safety checks and procedures are digital.
The system also enables food establishments and inspectors to flag vehicles that do not comply with the requirements. Powerful data analysis tools will be used to ensure long-term adherence to food safety standards and transportation sustainability.