The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has reported that four Closure Orders and eight Prohibition Orders were served on food businesses during July for breaches of food safety legislation, pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998, and the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020. The Enforcement Orders were issued by environmental health officers in the HSE.

Some of the reasons for the Closure Orders in July included live rats spotted on the premises, rat droppings found near food storage and evidence of pests gnawing foodstuffs; a very poor standard of basic hygiene in the food preparation areas posing a risk of food contamination; food handlers inadequately trained and lacking knowledge on temperature control, pest control and cleaning; high-risk cooked foods were not temperature-controlled, with chicken found to have been stored at 23 degrees Celsius; and a lack of food safety monitoring leading to unsafe food being produced and sold.

Dr Pamela Byrne, FSAI Chief Executive, said: “These Closure Orders demonstrate the importance of regular and consistent checks by businesses to ensure safe food practices are in place and adhered to in the interest of protecting consumer health.

“It is disappointing to see a number of these enforcement orders relating to the presence of rodents on the premises. Ensuring food is free of contamination includes putting robust pest control systems in place and also training/supervising staff appropriately.

“It must also be noted that summer is a particularly busy time of year for many food businesses, and it is critical that businesses have the necessary systems in place to account for both the increase in customers and temperatures. Food bacteria can multiply quickly in warm weather and food businesses must ensure food is stored correctly.”

Details of the food businesses served with Enforcement Orders are published on the FSAI’s website.

If you require Food Safety/HACCP training for your staff, a Food Safety/HACCP system specifically designed for your food business or Food Safety advice, please contact SafeHands.