The Food Safety Authority of Ireland recently revealed that four Enforcement Orders were handed out to various food businesses in January for violating food safety regulations. These orders were issued under the FSAI Act, 1998, and the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020, by Environmental Health Officers from the Health Service Executive.

Among the enforcement actions taken, two Closure Orders were imposed under the FSAI Act, 1998, one Closure Order was served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020, and one Prohibition Order was issued under the same EU regulations.

The violations leading to these orders varied, with some alarming instances such as raw fish stored in non-food grade cardboard boxes, the presence of rodent droppings throughout the premises and food-storage areas, and a significant amount of perishable food stored in a non-operational freezer. Other issues included the preparation of raw meat in a sink designated for handwashing, the absence of traceability records for food products, and inadequate labelling of stored food items.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of FSAI, expressed concern, stating, "In January, there continued to be a number of food businesses who failed to ensure appropriate food safety management systems were in place and operating correctly." She emphasised that it is a legal requirement for all food businesses to maintain their premises to the standards mandated by Irish food law, with food safety regulations designed to protect consumer health.

Dr. Byrne highlighted the broader consequences, explaining, "By failing to keep reasonable food safety and hygiene standards in place, a business not only poses a risk to the health of their customers but also to their own reputation as a trustworthy and safe food business."

The FSAI publishes details of the food businesses served with Enforcement Orders on its website. These enforcement actions serve as a reminder of the critical role that businesses play in upholding food safety standards to ensure the well-being of consumers and maintain their reputation in the industry.

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