Category Archives: Health

Khaleej Times – Dubai Health Authority on Kid’s lunch boxes

The types and amount of food that lunch boxes of school students in Dubai should contain will soon depend on the new guidelines to be issued by the authorities to promote healthy eating habits.

Dubai Municipality’s Food Control Department in collaboration with the Dubai Health Authority has come up with instructions for preparing school meals for children according to their age groups, in the form of an illustrative poster.

“The new poster titled ‘School Lunch Kit’ includes information on healthy food habits to be maintained when preparing lunch kits for children in all phases of schooling,” the municipality said on Thursday.

According to the poster to be distributed in schools soon, five types of foods, namely fruits, vegetable, milk, proteins, and grains should be included in the kit. Ideal food composition with regards to children’s age also has been explained in the poster.

School canteens have also been ordered not to sell soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit syrups, milk and yogurt with artificial flavours, lollipops and chewing gums, confectionaries with sugar and artificial colour, chocolates, food with sodium glutamate content, high fat foods and chips. A list of food items to be ideally made available in canteens has also been mentioned in the poster, which, an official said, is currently available only in Arabic.

The Municipality said it had started various awareness programmes including lectures and workshops in this regard. —

Etisalat goes live with voice directory service

After months of in-house tweaking and testing, Etisalat has launched its voice directory service in an effort to reduce response times.

Initially available only to landline customers calling ‘181’, the service will soon be made available to Etisalat’s mobile customers as well.

The service works with the help of an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that uses automatic speech recognition to distinguish commands in both Arabic and English, regardless of caller accent or dialect.

As the service is only in its first phase, it can presently only provide listings for five main categories – finance, travel, hotels, restaurants and healthcare. Other categories will be included at a later stage.

Customer service agents at Etisalat, who previously handled directory enquiries, will now provide support for other categories and requests that the system can’t handle.

Authorities warn against using some toothpastes

Found this article in today’s Gulf News….definitely USEful info!



Published: 04/06/2007 12:00 AM (UAE)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday in its advisory had warned consumers to avoid using tubes of toothpastes labelled as made in China.

Authorities warn against using some toothpastes

By Sunita Menon and Abbas Al Lawati, Staff Reporters

Dubai: Consumers have been warned against using certain brands of Chinese toothpaste as the concerned authorities here were busy passing the buck.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday in its advisory had warned consumers to avoid using tubes of toothpastes labelled as made in China, and issued an import alert to prevent toothpaste containing the poisonous chemical diethylene glycol (DEG) from entering the US. The FDA has raised concerns that the products may contain – diethylene glycol or DEG or diglycol stearate, used in solvents.

While the Ministry of Health here said the responsibility of controlling a consumer product like toothpaste lies with the municipalities, a senior official from the General Secretariat of Municipalities (GSM) said a public warning is issued after it receives a notification of safety concerns about a particular product from the Ministry of Health.


Dr Eisa Al Mansouri, director of the Department of Drug Control at the ministry, said the chemical found in the Chinese toothpastes, diethylene glycol (DEG) was indeed poisonous and “could cause harm to those who ingest it”.

He said the responsibility of issuing a warning does not lie with the department since toothpastes are a consumer product which municipalities are responsible for.

Dr Ameen Yousuf, a food and safety consultant at the GSM, said public warnings are issued after it receives a list of products about which the Ministry of Health has safety concerns. He said: “The Ministry of Health has not forwarded us any notification on these toothpastes.”

Yousuf said there are hundreds of the products in the market which fall in the grey area – they are neither categorised under pharmaceuticals nor in food.

He said: “Usually we receive a list of such products from the ministry. We issue a public warning and then get the products off the market. Currently there is no specific body established to approve or disapprove products that fall in the grey area.”

Caution: FDA identifies Chinese brands

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified the following brands of toothpaste from China that contain DEG and are included in the import alert: Cooldent Fluoride; Cooldent Spearmint; Cooldent ICE; Dr. Cool, Everfresh Toothpaste; Superdent Toothpaste; Clean Rite Toothpaste; Oralmax Extreme; Oral Bright Fresh Spearmint Flavor; Bright Max Peppermint Flavor; ShiR Fresh Mint Fluoride Paste; DentaPro; DentaKleen; and DentaKleen Junior.

– Source: FDA News