Abu Dhabi: Food sold in UAE markets is free of insects and worms, Abu Dhabi’s food and agriculture sector regulator said.
The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (Adafsa) has released a statement from the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment debunking rumors that insects and insect derivatives are present in food sold in the UAE.
“Ministry of Climate Change and Environment [MoCCAE] It has been verified that all food sold in the country’s market must comply with health regulations and recognized specifications, ensuring that all food meets the halal standards of Islamic law. This is in response to reports circulating on social platforms and in the media that some European countries allow insects to be added to certain food products,” MoCCAE said.
What is allowed?
Only the locust and honey bee parts are considered halal and thus allowed as part of food in the UAE.
“According to the Technical Regulation of 1st November 2055 on ‘Halal Food – Part I: General Requirements for Halal Food’, all insects and worms are considered non-halal, except locusts and any bees that may be found in honey Incidental. Any food product containing insects or their derivatives must be accompanied by a ‘halal’ certificate based on a fatwa issued by the competent authority of the country,” the MoCCAE clarified.
The ministry went on to confirm that local regulators are very strict on technical regulations and standard specifications, and that food safety and health are ensured through laboratory tests conducted at accredited research institutions that identify protein sources.
“The MoCCAE confirms that reports circulating on social media and in the media that some European countries allow the addition of insects to products are false and urges the public to confirm the facts with the UAE authorities,” the ministry said.
The rumors come after the European Union allowed the addition of insect protein to food in January. So far, the region has legalized certain forms of house crickets, small mealworm larvae, locust larvae and common mealworm larvae as food ingredients.