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The Ras Al Khaimah Municipality has announced that 40 out of 124 samples of desalinated water collected last year were unfit for human consumption.

The samples, examined at the advanced food control lab, were collected from 34 water desalination stations and factories across the emirate, and failed to pass the bromates scan, according to a top civil official here.

Shaimaa Al Tunaiji, manager of the public health department, said the erring institutions nabbed were all fined. “Suspension of their work was also ordered until they amend their positions and duly observe set rules.”

Up to 84 of the 124 water samples collected from 34 institutions were fit for drinking, she added. “This is actually 67.74 per cent, while 40 or 32.26 per cent of the samples proved to be unfit for human consumption.”

Elaborating, Al Tunaiji said all the water desalination factories and stations in the emirate are subjected to the bromates scan on an annual basis. “The test is meant to ensure that the desalinated water produced is free from any contamination.”

Failing to observe health standards in terms of cleaning and sterilization, bacteria have a good chance to grow in the desalinated water being produced, Al Tunaiji explained.

“The fines are multiplied up to Dh30,000 in case of big and hazardous violations related to public health. However, the amount of fine is determined in line with the type and impact of the violation.”

Indicting, she said that the municipality checks all the tools and equipment used in water desalination, apart from the staff health and medical fitness. “The RAK Municipality has further stopped issuing licenses for new water desalination stations, and has only licensed those using the municipality water.”

Al Tunaiji added that the civic inspectors also discovered that one of the 100 samples of different types of cheese collected from the markets and hotels of the northern emirate last year proved positive to listeria bacteria. “Ninety nine of the cheese samples were fine, but only one was unfit.”

Warning, she said that the RAK municipality deals with no tolerance with any violation that poses a risk to customers’ health. “Inspection campaigns are launched day and night across the emirate to curb all violations.”

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