The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has reported that seven Closure Orders were served on food businesses during September 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 and officers of the FSAI.

Some of the reasons for the Closure Orders in September included no pest-monitoring procedures in place as dead mice and flies were noted on the premises; rodent faeces was found in several locations throughout a premises; numerous large cobwebs as well as holes were noted on ceilings; food was not protected from contamination with flies observed crawling on it; high risk meat products were found to be stored at high temperatures ranging from 9.8ºC to 11ºC; raw chicken and cooked pork were inappropriately prepared in the vegetable preparation area, with no cleaning or disinfection of work surfaces carried out; staff wore unclean clothes and footwear and were not wearing appropriate protective clothing, such as aprons and hairnets; despite basic food safety training, staff members continued to display a lack of knowledge regarding safe food preparation, storage and handling practices.

Commenting on the Closure Orders served in September, FSAI Cheif Executive Dr Pamela Byrne said: "It is a legal requirement for all food businesses to have a robust food safety management system in place that also ensures a high level of pest control. However, time after time, environmental health officers are finding incidents of rodent infestations and filthy premises highlighting a disregard for basic food safety and hygiene.

"All food businesses have a legal obligation to ensure that the food they are processing, serving or selling is safe to eat at all times. Consumers have a right to safe food and we would urge anyone who is concerned or suspect there is unusual activity being demonstrated by a food business, to contact us via our online complaint form and we will investigate.”

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.