The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has reported a significant increase in the number of investigations it conducted into unregistered food businesses last year.

Some 47 investigations were carried out by the food watchdog in 2020 compared to just 19 the previous year.

The investigations resulted in 17t of “unsafe” food being taken off the market in Ireland.

The highest number of investigations were into meat businesses (18), following by ready-to-eat product producers (13) and bakeries (three).

Alcohol, wild game and CBD product manufacturers were also investigated.

Social media marketing

“Many of these unregistered food businesses are using social media platforms such as Facebook, Facebook marketplace,, Done Deal and Instagram to advertise the sale and supply of their food products. WhatsApp is also used by some for receiving orders,” Dr Pamela Byrne, chief executive of FSAI warned.

"We would ask consumers that if they are in any doubt about a food business, they should contact us through our online complaint form and we will follow up on this,” Byrne added.

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