Seven enforcement orders were served to food businesses by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) in July, a report has shown.

One food business was found to be transporting unrefrigerated meat and meat products in the boot and back seat of a car, FSAI CEO Dr Pamela Byrne has said.

The FSAI has reported that five closure orders and two prohibition orders were served on food businesses during the month of July for breaches of food safety legislation.

Some of the reasons for these enforcement orders included:

  • Evidence of recent rat activity.
  • Rat droppings beside open food products.
  • A meat cutting and packaging area beside ready to eat food.
  • No access to hot water for staff to practice good hand hygiene.
  • A mat in a staff bathroom covered in snail and slug residue.
  • Byrne continued: “On another occasion, a wholesale business was operating in filthy conditions with unfit and out of date food, whilst another establishment had a significant level of unlabelled and untraceable food on its premises.

    “In all these cases, authorised officers used enforcement powers to mitigate the risk to consumers from these business operations. We would be concerned that this could be reflective of a growing level of unscrupulous operators seeking to make a profit at the expense of public health.”

    Public advice

    The FSAI has urged all consumers to question anyone offering them food for sale that seems unusual or that has no food labels on the packaging.

    Food businesses must not purchase food from unregistered suppliers and larger food businesses are asked to ensure, when selling commercial quantities of food, that the buyer is a registered or approved food business operator.

    “Anyone who is selling food must register with or have their business approved by a competent authority and abide by food law. Consumers have a right to safe food and bogus operators seeking to make a quick profit risk making consumers sick,” Byrne concluded.

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