The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has reported that nine Closure Orders and one Prohibition Order were served on food businesses in February 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 sea-fisheries protection officers in the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority.

Some of the reasons for the Enforcement Orders in February include: a significant risk of cross contamination due to the condition of the staff toilet, with a water leak flowing into the food storage and preparation area and flooding a nearby carpet; E. coli detected in parsley mayonnaise, beetroot hummus, rocket pesto and chicken and chorizo bap, indicating that faecal pathogens may also be present or that poor hygiene practices occurred; food debris and black mould found on surfaces, indicating inadequate cleaning procedures; frozen meats stored for an unknown duration and no traceability information could be found; no monitoring of food temperatures that are critical to food safety, with sausages and rice stored at potentially harmful temperatures; a dead rodent found near the kitchen, indicating inadequate pest control procedures; an extraction hood dripping grease down the canopy; and there were no handwashing facilities for staff.

Commenting on the Enforcement Orders, FSAI Chief Executive Dr Pamela Byrne said: “Consumers must be able to trust that the food they are being served is safe to eat and it is unacceptable that some food businesses fail to fulfil this duty. Storage and food preparation areas must be properly cleaned and maintained to avoid potential contamination of food. It is also important that businesses have proper pest control procedures in place and that they are regularly checking that there are no pests in their premises.”

There was also one prosecution taken by the FSAI in relation to a food business, which was convicted on two counts of obstructing authorised officers of the HSE, with total fines of €3,000.

Dr Byrne said: “This ruling sends a strong message to food businesses that obstructing an authorised officer will not be tolerated under any circumstances and, in this particular case, it resulted in prosecution.”

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