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‘Razor blade in minced meat’ and ‘cigarette in brack’ among food complaints

This might put you off your lunch.

File photo of mince. (Mmmmmmmm)
File photo of mince. (Mmmmmmmm)
Image: JohnSeb via Flickr/Creative Commons

A RAZOR BLADE found in minced meat was among alleged contamination complaints received by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) last year.

The watchdog published new data today on queries and complaints received last year.

Unfit food made up 1,199 complaints, suspect food poisoning saw 529, and 566 calls related to hygiene standards.

The FSAI’s helpline saw an 8% increase in calls, including 14,348 general queries, 2,738 relating to food and food premises, and 11,604 from businesses looking for advice.

The authority said this reflects a growing awareness of food hygiene, and the need to report suspect practices.

Some of the more grizzly allegations received were:

  • A razor blade found in minced meat
  • A cigarette found in a fruit brack
  • A fly found in a jar of marmalade
  • An insect in an apple tart
  • The tip of an knife found in spare ribs
  • Wire in takeaway food
  • A metal bolt found in a tin of grapefruit
  • Food contaminated with dead maggots and glass

All were investigated by the HSE’s environmental health officers.

New labelling requirements on allergens resulted in a 100% increase in calls relating to this compared to 2013.

Everything from loose food in shops, to food sold in restaurants, pubs, takeaways, contract caterers, food stalls, as well as food being delivered is covered by this new legislation.

A total of 175 complaints relating to incorrect food labelling were received.

“Our Advice Line is an important resource for the food industry where our experts are available to assist food business owners and managers raise their standards with the best available advice,” Edel Smyth, information manager, said.

Consumers have become more vigilant in recent years and are now much more likely to report poor hygiene or food safety standards that they encounter. This is a welcome development.

Details of the FSAI’s Advice Line are available online.

Read: Cavan pub fined €7,000 over sale of counterfeit Smirnoff >

More: Tesco, SuperValu, and Boots stores slapped on the wrist for overcharging >

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Nicky Ryan

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