The FSAI reported seven enforcement orders served on Irish food businesses for the month of June for breaches in food safety legislation in accordance with the FSAI Act, 1998 and EC (official control of foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010.
Included in this were 5 closure orders which were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on food businesses in Donegal, Cork, Sligo and Dublin. Even a Mace supermarket in Co.Cork was served with a closure order under EC (official control of foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010. This applied to the delicatessen food preparation area along with the delicatessen walk in cold storage and walk in freezer activities.
The Health Service Executive carried out two successful prosecutions during the last month on the Millview Inn in Donegal and Lebanese Kitchen in Dublin. According to TheJournal.ie, The Millview Inn had costs of €1,347 awarded against it, while Lebanese Kitchen was ordered to pay over €10,600 in fines and costs. Should we mention reputational damage at this stage. Some businesses simply never recover and all mainly because of lack of training and lack of procedures.
Commenting on the enforcement orders served in June, Dr. Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of FSAI stated that food businesses must operate stringent food safety procedures in order to protect consumers’ health, there is “absolutely no excuse for careless practices.”
Food Safety is a growing concern, with a rise in the amount of foodborne illnesses reported to the FSAI. There was 106 enforcement orders served on food businesses in 2016, will 2017 exceed this ?? It’s not just foreign takeaways you know! Last year an award-winning celebrity chef restaurant was issued a closure order over what the restaurant described as a “minor plumbing issue”. However, under Freedom of Information legislation, TheJournal.ie seen documentation of every closure order issued in 2016. Documentation stated “Presence of rat droppings, suspected contamination and suspected rodent access points” as the reason for the closure order. Although a spokesperson claimed this information was misleading and inaccurate, the war of words doesn’t matter now, the damage is done. This is just one of many closures of well established restaurants in the country.
What are we to believe? Choosing a place to eat should have no element of risk! But is that really the case nowadays? In May of this year it was suspected that a salmonella outbreak in a local pub was the cause of a woman’s death. Food prepared in a local pub in Portmarnock Dublin to cater for a communion party is said to have caused the death of a mum in her 50’s along with causing serious illnesses to other guests. It is heartbreaking, something as simple as clean and safe food preparation area and practices can change lives, a fact that is not considered by many. Food businesses need to increase food safety awareness and ensure regulations are complied with. We want good, safe food and we want it now!
Even the global chains aren’t immune. In October last year an international chain based in Ireland had to close for a week due to a water drainage rupture. Now lets leave aside the loss of earnings for the week but how do you think the locals felt when the found out that “Raw sewage (was) present in the food storage area and patron seating area in (the) lower ground floor… Food deliveries in green crates and boxes were seen during inspection on the contaminated floor area.” Well holy God! That cant do much for your profit margins.
In the last year, other Irish food businesses have been closed (the vast majority temporarily, some indefinitely) as a result of, amongst other things:
- A live rodent present on the premises (Yes while the inspector was ACTUALLY there!)
- A cockroach infestation
- Raw sewage in a food preparation area
- Maggots present in kitchen waste area
- Mouldy and congealed food present in fridges
- A bag of coal being kept on a food storage shelf
- A storage room being used as a bedroom
Get food safety compliant now, ensure your mandatory training is up to date.
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