Food Safety at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™

GWC stories | June 23, 2022

A mammoth feat made possible by intricate logistics planning, safe food handling, and a sophisticated cold chain infrastructure.

With an anticipated one million-plus visitors expected to attend FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, Qatar awaits to create a major milestone in the hospitality industry. Right from Ensuring food safety at every level of the supply chain to the point of sale is no ordinary task. Managing the large influx of people to cater for a wide variety of cultural cuisines to meet rigorous hygiene standards is a challenge of not preferences but logistics.

Delivering a promise at a scale like this requires a thorough and comprehensive approach that addresses safety at every node – manufacturing & production, packing & transportation, importation & customs clearance, storage & warehousing, inventory & distribution, and last but not least preparation & service. Qatar is prepared to deliver all this and more, powered by the world-class cold chain infrastructure of one of the leading logistics providers in the region, GWC.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at the challenges of food safety, especially at mega-events, what goes behind making these events a success, and the proactive measures Qatar is undertaking to ensure all food safety risks are addressed for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

Importance of food safety at mega-events

Simple answer – foodborne illnesses. Foodborne illness also referred to as food poisoning is a common food safety hazard that is caused by several factors, including poor food handling, contaminated food, and food allergies. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates about 600 million cases of foodborne illness each year that result in 420,000 deaths globally. This underlines the fact that food can become contaminated at any stage, from production through to transport and storage. Food safety is a shared responsibility; ensuring that it remains safe for consumption requires a coordinated effort from all parties involved in the supply chain.

Mega-events such as the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup are a celebration of the diverse cultures of the world. These events are not only for celebrating but also for promoting the culture and tourism of a specific region. One cannot imagine such events without food which plays a crucial role in bringing people together. Interestingly, it’s one of the major motivators for fans of these events and what they remember most. With large crowds comes the responsibility to provide food that is safe and healthy to consume for everyone attending these events.

The logistics behind ensuring food safety

Food safety is an important consideration at any large gathering, but especially crucial at mega-events where the risk of foodborne illness can be amplified by the sheer number of people in attendance. It is essential to protect public health by ensuring standards are met at all levels. In the past, there have been unfortunate incidents where food safety was compromised at major events around the world.

As the Official Logistics Provider, GWC has a major role to play in the process of delivering hygienic and quality food to the attendees of this sporting mega-event.

Starting with developing a food safety plan for all stakeholders involved in the supply chain, GWC are the proud owners of a sophisticated cold chain mechanism that enables safe and hygienic on-ground movement of various types of food items. Overseeing food safety from close quarters are GWC’s professionally-certified food handlers with the expertise to inspect & distinguish contaminated, outdated, and spoiled food items at every stage of the supply chain – customs clearance, warehousing, transportation, last mile delivery. With extensive planning and coordination, GWC is involved in ensuring the well-being of our guests in partnership with Qatar.

Mitigating food safety risks

Qatar is no stranger to hosting mega-events, having played host to the Asian Games and numerous other world-scale events. To mitigate food safety risks for the upcoming World Cup, the state has put in place numerous precautionary measures which involve pre-event planning, testing, data reporting and good food handling practices. These are all vital cogs necessary to deliver a healthy and safe event.

Although, being a water-scarce and arid region requires additional effort in identifying and mitigating food safety risks. Here is where GWC’s warehousing comes into the picture, providing facilities to maintain temperatures all the way from -25˚C up to an ambient +25˚C. Even in the event of a large-scale power outage, the facilities have secondary power sources which enables the operations to run seamlessly without disruption. Interestingly, these warehouses are fitted with wind catchers, an ingenious technology of ancient Persian engineering. It enables the control of airflow which helps maintain indoor temperatures up to 20˚C cooler.

Environmental and facilitative advantages like these give GWC the flexibility and capability to deliver perishable foods all over the country and is a major strength going into the World Cup. With public health being a top priority at the World Cup, GWC’s food-related safety measures and benchmark practices will help to achieve this goal. By ensuring that food safety is a priority at all stages of the supply chain, GWC is committed to bringing peace of mind to all stakeholders during the tournament.

Send an email to info@gwclogistics.com to find out how GWC can help you move food items in a safe and seamless manner.

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