Tuesday, 10 January 2023
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today stated that 77 Enforcement Orders were served on food businesses for breaches of food safety legislation in 2022, an increase of 31% on the 59 that were served in 2021. The increase in Enforcement Orders follows almost a full year of normal food business operations following the lifting of remaining COVID-19 restrictions, in early 2022. The FSAI continues to urge all food businesses to adhere to food safety legislation, appropriately train staff to produce, serve and sell food that is safe to eat and ensure premises are adequately pest proofed.
Between 1 January and 31 December 2022, 65 Closure Orders and 12 Prohibition Orders were issued by Environmental Health Officers in the Health Service Executive (HSE), sea-fisheries protection officers in the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) and officers of the FSAI on food businesses throughout the country. A number of recurring food safety issues identified in food businesses resulted in the Enforcement Orders being issued, including improper storage of food with risk of possible contamination; a lack of pest control procedures, monitoring and pest proofing; a lack of proper temperature control in the storage, preparation and distribution of food and inadequate staff training in relation to food safety, personal hygiene and record keeping.
Commenting on the annual figures, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI, would have hoped to see a reduction in the number of Enforcement Orders, but disappointingly this was not the case.
“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”.
The FSAI also reported that six Closure Orders were served on food businesses during the month of December 2022 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 Health Service Executive and officers of the FSAI.
Four Closure Orders were served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020 on:
- Ballaghaderreen Grocery Store, Charlestown Road, Ballaghaderreen, Roscommon
- Hole in the Wall (Closed area: the kitchen, side preparation areas and storage shed), Blackhorse Avenue, Cabra, Dublin 7
- Casey's Pub (Closed area: kitchen, the store room off the kitchen and the part of the keg / bottle store room used for food production activities; a table with fryers and soup tureen), Raheenagh, Limerick
- The Cosy Corner Outside Catering (Closed Area: Manufacture and distribution of filled baguettes, sandwiches and wraps for distribution to other premises), The Cosy Corner, Crossroads, Killygordon, Lifford, Donegal
Two Closure Orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:
- The African Shop/Costello Stores, 87 Shandon Street, Cork
- RBK Poultry Limited, Unit E4, Chapelizod Industrial Estate, Chapelizod Road, Dublin 10
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.
The FSAI is also publishing today the details of one Closure Order served by the HSE in November 2022 under the FSAI Act, 1998. The Closure Order had been subject to an appeal, which was subsequently withdrawn. The Closure Order was served on:
- Brambles Deli Café Limited, Wells House and Gardens, Wells, Gorey, Co. Wexford.
In addition, the FSAI is publishing the details of eight Prohibition Orders served by the HSE in July 2022 under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020. The Prohibition Orders had been subject to an appeal, which was subsequently withdrawn. The Prohibition Orders related to the placing on the market of unauthorised novel foods (CBD products) and were served on:
- Holland and Barrett, Units 5 & 6, Cedar Drive, Dublin Airport Logistics Park, Saint Margarets Road, Saint Margarets, County Dublin
Details of the food businesses served with Enforcement Orders are published on the FSAI’s website. Closure Orders and Improvement Orders will remain listed in the enforcement reports on the website for a period of three months from the date of when a premises is adjudged to have corrected its food safety issue, with Prohibition Orders being listed for a period of one month.