Wednesday, 8 January 2020
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today stated that 124 Enforcement Orders were served on food businesses for breaches in food safety legislation in 2019, increasing by 13%, compared to 2018 (110). The FSAI outlined the importance of robust food safety management systems and stressed that the responsibility lies with food businesses to ensure that the food they sell is safe to eat and compliant with food safety legislation.
Between 1st January and 31st December 2019, food inspectors served 107 Closure Orders, 4 Improvement Orders and 13 Prohibition Orders on food businesses throughout the country. The types of recurring food safety issues that lead to Enforcement Orders are: evidence of rodent infestation and rodent droppings; filthy conditions; failure to maintain correct temperatures of foodstuffs; a lack of knowledge of food safety by staff; unsuitable food storage facilities; improper or lack of water facilities for cleaning and lack of equipment and work space to allow for the safe preparation of allergen free food.
Commenting on the annual figures, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI stressed the serious nature of a food business being served an Enforcement Order.
“Enforcements, especially Closure Orders and Prohibition Orders, are never served for minor food safety breaches. They are served on food businesses only when a serious risk to consumer health has been identified or where there are a number of ongoing breaches of food legislation that could cause serious hygiene or other operational issues. There is no excuse for careless food safety practices. Food inspectors are encountering the same issues time and time again. The typical reasons why Enforcement Orders have to be served are easily avoidable. While the vast majority of food businesses are compliant with food safety legislation, we still continue to face negligent practices that are potentially putting consumer’s health at risk. It is disappointing to see an increase in Enforcement Orders for the second consecutive year and businesses should take action to prevent the trend continuing into 2020.”
During the month of December 2019, 6 Closure Orders were served on food businesses for breaches of food safety legislation, pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998.The Enforcement Orders were issued by environmental health officers in the Health Service Executive (HSE).
Six Closure Orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:
- The Carrots Tail Ltd. (Restaurant/Café), 192 Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6
- Joe’s Take Away, 3 Dean Street, Kilkenny
- Beef and Lobster (Restaurant/Café), Unit 1 and 2 Parliament Building, 37-40 Parliament Street, Dublin 2
- Circle K Service Station, Belgard Road, Tallaght, Dublin 24
- Indian Aagrah/Bombay Brasserie (Restaurant/ Café), 89 Sundays Well Road, Cork
- Lidl Ireland GmbH (Closed area: Main store and warehouse, bakery preparation area, temporary storage container and adjoining delivery area), M1 Retail Park, Mell, Drogheda, Louth
Some of the reasons for the Enforcement Orders in December include: A live rodent was noted in an exposed cavity wall next to food storage units; rodent droppings found in storage units which contained exposed food; a suspected pool of blood appeared to be present in a goods storage unit, with a foul smell coming from the area; an absence of cleaning chemicals necessary to disinfect food equipment and surfaces; and cooked chicken pieces and fish were stored at incorrect temperatures for over five hours, potentially causing harmful food poisoning bacteria to grow and multiply.
Commenting on the December’s Enforcement Orders, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI stressed the importance of having a robust food safety management system in place in a food business.
“It is highly disconcerting that some food business owners are still failing to comply with food safety standards and their legal obligations that have been set to ensure the safety of their customers. Even though they are in the minority, there is no excuse for any food business to remain unaware of the correct food handling and storage procedures which could prevent pest infestations or prevent bacterial growth. It is crucial that all businesses within the industry are up-to-date with the legislation that address the issues that will prevent any unnecessary risk to consumers who may become sick as a result of these poor practices. The FSAI provides advice if food businesses are unsure what their legal obligations are at www.fsai.ie or the FSAI Advice Line, firstname.lastname@example.org,” Dr Byrne concluded.
Details of the food businesses served with Enforcement Orders are published on the FSAI’s website. Closure Orders and Improvement Orders will remain listed on the website for a period of three months from the date of when a premises is adjudged to have corrected its food safety issue, with Prohibition Orders being listed for a period of one month.