The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has reported that six Closure Orders were served on food businesses during the month of December last year 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 December include open bin of uncovered animal (meat) waste were stored outside a premises, within easy access of vermin and pests; an establishment stored meat considered unfit for human consumption due to putrefaction, foreign body contamination and poor storage conditions; an unregistered meat food business was operating with no food safety procedures or records to fulfil meat traceability requirements; a freezer room had been switched off, leading to an interruption to the cold chain with frozen meat haphazardly stored alongside frozen animal by-product waste; previous inspection notes such as improving hygiene and cleaning practices were not followed; growth visible within a freezer storing baguettes; food workers were not wearing protective clothing when preparing sandwiches, baguettes and wraps; and rodent droppings noted on packet of foods on sale to the public and in the area where foods were re-packed for sale.

Details of the food businesses served with Enforcement Orders are published on the FSAI’s website.

The FSAI also revealed that 77 Enforcement Orders were served on food businesses for breaches of food safety legislation in 2022, an increase of 31 per cent on the 59 that were served in 2021. The increase in Enforcement Orders follows almost a full year of normal food business operations after the lifting of remaining Covid-19 restrictions in early 2022.

Commenting on the annual figures, Dr Pamela Byrne, FSAI Chief Executive, said: “Through the hard work of our partner agencies and food inspectors in 2022, food businesses that disregarded the law and put consumer health at risk were stopped. However, this should not be happening.

“Enforcement Orders are served on food businesses only when a risk to consumer health has been identified or where there are a number of ongoing breaches of food legislation. Food businesses should not be falling short on their legal requirements. They should adhere to food safety regulations at all times. It is disappointing that month after month, food inspectors find similar, basic and fundamental breaches of food law”.

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