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Rethink On Cooking With Alcohol

News From : DagangHalal.com (23 Mar 2010)

DUBAI – A storm that was cooking has now passed over. In an apparent softening of stance, Dubai Municipality, which planned to enforce a ban on the use of alcohol in food at restaurants, is likely to review the decision, Khaleej Times learnt on Monday.

The head of the municipal department, which issued the circular,  said the regulation would be reviewed.

“There was some confusion… and misunderstanding. It is not a total ban on using alcohol. We are reviewing the decision and we will come up with some clarification soon,” said Director of Food Control Department Khalid Mohammed Sharif Al Awadhi.

He said rules would be implemented to ensure hotels use liquor for dishes only when unavoidable, clearly mention the ingredients, and store and display those dishes separately from non-alcoholic food.

“Not all the hotels are doing it. We will see how we can implement it in a proper way. The segregation (of alcoholic and non-alcoholic food) should be clear to the customers and they should declare the ingredients in bold letters, not in small fonts.” The rules being applied to halal and non-halal food items would also be applicable to alcohol-based dishes, he said.

The civic body had last week issued a circular to hotel managers prohibiting the use of liquor in food, and also their display and sale.

Many chefs were surprised and confused at the decision. Local orders passed in 2003 had banned the use of alcohol in dishes served at Dubai restaurants.

The president of the Emirates Culinary Guild, Uwe Micheel, was in talks with the municipality to sort out the issue.

Micheel, who is also the director of Kitchens at Radisson Blu, Deira Creek, said he was sure that the Municipality would review the rules to match the market requirements. “Reinforcing the laws is good. I am happy that we have an open-minded Municipality and they are not working against us. They just want us to follow the rules properly.”

BY Sajila Saseendran

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