The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has reported that four Closure Orders were served on food businesses during the month of October 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 Closure Orders were issued by Environmental Health Officers in the HSE.

Some of the reasons for the Closure Orders in October include: evidence of cockroach activity in the food preparation area; food left to cool overnight at ambient temperatures, presenting a risk for bacterial growth; uncovered ready-to-eat food left outside and unprotected from contamination; a live rodent on the premises; rodent droppings consistent with rats found in food preparation area; pest proofing issues were spotted throughout the building, from holes around pipework, walls and ceilings to open drains in the basement; food utensils found covered in rust and also stored on the ground outside and inside; build-up of slime and greases in back yard; food storage containers unclean and embedded with dirt; failure to implement a food safety management system.

Commenting on the Closure Orders served in October, FSAI Chief Executive Dr Pamela Byrne said: “It is a legal requirement for all food businesses to have their premises protected against pests and kept clean and yet food inspectors continue to find unacceptable levels of non-compliance with food safety legislation in some food businesses. There is a personal responsibility for managers and all employees to comply with food safety law at all times. There can be zero tolerance for negligent practices that put consumers’ health at risk and Environmental Health Officers will use the full powers available to them under food law if a food business is found to be in breach. Consumers have a right to safe food and food businesses have a legal requirement to ensure that the food they are processing, serving or selling is safe to eat."

Also, during the month of October, a court ruling from 3 May 2022 was upheld in relation to a take away business in Co Tipperary.

Details of the food businesses served with Enforcement Orders are published on the FSAI’s website. Closure Orders and Improvement Orders will remain listed in the enforcement reports 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.

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.