Thursday, 15 June 2023
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) states it has served a notice today on Metron Stores Limited (trading as Iceland Ireland) for the immediate withdrawal from its retail stores of all imported frozen food of animal origin which has been imported into Ireland since 3 March 2023. In addition, the FSAI is directing the company to recall the implicated product from consumers. As a precaution, the FSAI is advising consumers not to eat any imported frozen food of animal origin bought from Iceland Ireland stores since 3 March 2023. Foods of animal origin are any food products that contain ingredients that come from an animal, such as chicken, meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, etc. This enforcement action is due to a number of identified breaches of food legislation and an ongoing investigation.
The reasons for serving this notice include:
- Inadequate evidence of traceability of imported frozen food of animal origin in Metron Stores Limited (trading as Iceland Ireland).
- There have been a number of incidents of non-compliance with import control legislation in relation to frozen foods of animal origin. Some frozen food of animal origin has been imported into Ireland without pre-notification and completion of entry declarations and health certificates since 3 March 2023.
Discussions with the company have taken place and the investigation involves the FSAI; the Environmental Health Service of the Health Service Executive; the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority.
According to Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO, FSAI these are very serious breaches of food law.
“To date, while we have no reports of any illness associated with implicated products from Iceland Ireland stores, in the absence of the company providing valid and correct traceability documentation as required by the law, we have to take a precautionary approach to best protect consumers, as we cannot be fully confident of the traceability and safety of these imported frozen foods of animal origin. As a precaution, we are therefore advising consumers not to eat imported frozen food of animal origin bought from Iceland Ireland stores since 3 March 2023. Foods of animal origin are any food products that contain ingredients that come from an animal, such as chicken, meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, etc. It is the legal responsibility of any food business importing food into Ireland to make the correct import declarations for the food they are importing. All food businesses must also have full traceability information on the food they are importing, producing, distributing and selling. Due to these breaches of food legislation and in the interest of consumer protection, this action has been taken.”
This action is part of an ongoing investigation following identification by Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Border Control Post officials, in collaboration with Revenue Customs, of undeclared frozen food of animal origin with no accompanying documentation for goods being imported by Metron Stores Limited trading as Iceland Ireland into Ireland. This has led to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine detaining consignments and issuing an import control notice to return them to Great Britain or destroy them. Officials at Dublin Port continue to assess the detained consignments to determine compliance with legal requirements and import controls.
As part of the investigation, the FSAI has informed the European Commission, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) UK, Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland, and Food Standards Scotland and are sharing relevant information to support the investigation. The FSAI Advice Line can be contacted at email@example.com or through our social media channels @FSAIinfo.