The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has revealed that eight Enforcement Orders were served on food businesses during the month of May 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 Health Service Executive.

Four Closure Orders were served under the FSAI Act, three Closure Orders were served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020, and one Improvement Order was served. Also, during the month of May, one prosecution was taken by the HSE in relation to a food business.

Some of the reasons for the Enforcement Orders served in May include: a container of cooked chicken left on a dirty sink near pools of blood, raw chicken left on top of lettuce; surfaces encased in a thick layer of dirt and grease; multiple cases of rodent infestations, with empty pasta bags containing mouse droppings and a rodent caught in a trap; inadequate pest-proofing with a high number of possible entry points; sushi not being prepared safely, with a lack of appropriate handwashing procedure and no sterilisation of food containers following use; food thawed at unsafe temperatures; a lack of necessary handwashing facilities; foodstuffs stored without date or name labels, with trays of cooked rice stored without a label and pepperoni slices and other pizza toppings stored uncovered; staff not properly trained and lacking clean and appropriate clothing.

FSAI Chief Executive Dr Pamela Byrne said: “Care should be taken when preparing all foods, particularly for high-risk foods like sushi which needs specific food safety controls. Improper defrosting of food has been noted by Environmental Health Officers. Defrosting should only be undertaken in refrigerators, as otherwise bacteria can multiply at room temperatures.

“As noted in our recent Breakfast Bite webinar on setting up a food business, all food businesses must adhere to mandatory food legislation, regardless of how long established they may be. A failure to do so can pose a grave and immediate risk to public health. By following best practices for food safety and hygiene, food businesses can produce safe food. Also, consumers can rest assured that enforcement measures will be applied to food businesses that do not meet their legal obligations."

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 by phone on 01-7979836 or mobile on 0873823223, email or visit our website