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Targeted Audit of Sushi Production and Processing Facilities

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Sushi is now widely available in Ireland.

Sushi is perceived as a healthy food product by consumers and therefore demand is growing. Media reports indicate that the sushi trend in Ireland has experienced a dramatic increase in recent years, with an 80% increase in the number of restaurants offering sushi on their menus since the beginning of 2018.

This targeted audit of sushi production and processing facilities was undertaken as part of the FSAI’s 2018 planned programme of audits, with audits conducted in October 2018 in 11 food businesses.

Both fresh water and salt water fish are a potential source of human infection due to parasites. Controls must be in place to ensure that the raw fish used to make sushi is parasite free and that, sushi rice is to be kept for no longer than the appropriate timeframe and served warm.

90% of the food businesses audited did not have adequate controls in place relating to sushi production and processing activities being carried out at their establishment. A total of 76 breaches of food law were identified in the 11 food businesses audited. 75% of food businesses that should have been freezing fish for parasite control did not meet the requirements of the legislation. Over 90% of the food businesses did not have adequate operational controls with regards to sushi rice production.

Deficiencies relating to the management of product traceability, general hygiene, HACCP and microbiological criteria were also identified. The breaches of microbiological criteria identified during the audit were only applicable to the activities being undertaken in 2 of the 11 food businesses.

One of the food business operators had no breaches of legislation and demonstrated examples of best practice in relation to the documented and operational food safety controls in place.

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