The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has reported that eight Enforcement Orders were issued to food businesses in May for violations of food safety legislation, in accordance with the FSAI Act, 1998, and the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020. These orders were issued by Environmental Health Officers from the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Of these orders, four Closure Orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998, three Closure Orders under the European Union regulations, and Environmental Health Officers served one Improvement Order. Additionally, the HSE undertook one prosecution related to a food business in May.

Reasons for the Enforcement Orders included: a container of cooked chicken left on a dirty sink near pools of blood, raw chicken placed on top of lettuce, surfaces coated in thick dirt and grease, multiple rodent infestations with mouse droppings in empty pasta bags and a rodent caught in a trap, inadequate pest-proofing with numerous potential entry points, unsafe sushi preparation with no proper handwashing procedures and no sterilisation of food containers, food thawed at unsafe temperatures, lack of necessary handwashing facilities, food stored without date or name labels (e.g., trays of cooked rice without labels and uncovered pepperoni slices and other pizza toppings), and staff lacking proper training and clean, appropriate clothing.

FSAI Chief Executive Dr Pamela Byrne emphasised the importance of careful food preparation, particularly for high-risk foods like sushi, which require specific food safety controls. She noted that improper defrosting of food, often done at room temperature, allows bacteria to multiply. Defrosting should only occur in refrigerators.

Dr Byrne also highlighted that all food businesses must comply with mandatory food legislation, regardless of their establishment duration. Failure to do so poses a significant risk to public health. By adhering to best practices for food safety and hygiene, businesses can ensure safe food production. Enforcement measures will be taken against those not meeting legal obligations, providing consumers with assurance.

SafeHands Health & Safety Solutions can deliver Food Safety/HACCP training and certification for your staff, a Food Safety/HACCP system specifically designed for your food business or Food Safety advice on-site and face-to-face at your premises. So contact us by phone on 01-7979836 or mobile on 0873823223, email or visit – and be in SafeHands…