Saudi Arabia Strengthens Control Over Imported Food
In northern Saudi Arabia, specifically in Al-Haditha port on the Saudi-Jordanian border, Saudi employees examine a food shipment within a strict daily procedure.
A number of employees carry out their routine tasks, which include taking samples of food products for examination and analysis, and inspection of the shipment papers and content.
Dedicated laboratories conduct analyses and examine the samples.
Saudi Arabia imports between 75 and 80 percent of its food from many countries around the world. The Food and Drug Authority has strengthened its control systems in all its outlets to ensure the safety of food products.
The Authority has several laboratories distributed in the ports of Jeddah, Dammam, Al-Haditha, Riyadh, and Jizan. Those are the authorized centers that test the food before allowing the relevant shipment to enter the Kingdom.
Besides these laboratories, there are 16 outlets with hundreds of Saudi certified inspectors who examine and analyze foods with high efficiency, using modern devices provided by the Kingdom.
During 2019, the Authority’s inspectors examined and tested nearly three million samples in Saudi outlets, and authorized the release of about 2.9 million products, while more than 109,000 items were rejected.
The development of the Authority’s procedures contributed to increasing the effectiveness of the control over imported food at the border outlets, especially with the launching the electronic clearance system years ago in all outlets, which allowed the Authority to quickly obtain and track information about the products and their importers in the event of recalls or consumer safety concerns.