MAKKAH, Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) has enhanced its food management system for this year's haj season by expanding the use of meal ready-to-eat (MRE) products for the 31,600 Malaysian pilgrims during the Masyair operation. Malaysian haj delegation head, Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman, said this initiative aims to ensure consistent taste and food quality across all maktab, with various appealing menus tailored to Malaysian pilgrims' preferences. 'During the Masyair period, we will provide 16 menus. Nine of these will be MRE menus, while the remaining seven, such as rice dishes, will be cooked in the kitchens in Arafah and Mina. 'The inclusion of MREs can help reduce the amount of food that needs to be cooked in the camp kitchens, thereby easing the burden on the staff responsible for cooking,' he told media personnel after visiting the MRE Storage Facility here yesterday. He further said that this measure could prevent unwanted incidents such as fires, as the food packs only need to be soaked in hot water to be ready for consumption. This also ensures the safety of the pilgrims and allows them to focus on the culmination of the haj pilgrimage in Arafah and Mina, he added. Syed Saleh said that the MRE pilot project began five years ago with the introduction of a single menu in 2018 and 2019 before it was increased to three menus in 2022. For this year's haj season, a total of 236,000 packs of MRE products featuring nine different menus, such as nasi lemak with sambal ikan bilis and peanuts, chicken fried rice, ayam masak lemak, ayam masak merah and daging masak kicap, have been introduced for lunch and dinner in Masyair. The food preparation is managed by Mashariq, the entity responsible for providing basic facilities and services for Malaysian pilgrims. 'In December last year, the Mashariq management, together with TH and the Health Ministry, visited several MRE factories in Malaysia. 'They have evaluated the factories visited and selected one company in Malaysia and another in Thailand to supply a ll the necessary products to avoid supply issues in the future,' he said. Source: BERNAMA News Agency