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Closure Orders

Two food businesses issued closure orders last month

One outlet was not registered with the appropriate authorities, while the other was inappropriately cooking and cooling large volumes of food.

TWO FOOD BUSINESSES were hit with closure orders by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) last month.

The closure orders concerned issues including the unsafe cooling of food, lack of registration with a regulatory authority and inadequate traceability systems.

The two closure orders were served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020 on:

  • Mrs Beltons Farm Produce, Black Ditch, Brittas Bay, Wicklow
  • The Chef’s Counter, Main Street, Portarlington, Laois

Mrs Beltons Farm Produce was ordered to close as it had been “operating without registration or approval”.

The closure order said that “food has been placed on the market without the benefit of official controls to verify compliance with food law and protect consumers”.

The report also said that the business did not have appropriate traceability systems in place, and therefore “it cannot be established whether the foods have been produced in accordance with applicable food law and there is an increased risk that unsafe food may be placed on the market”.

It also did not have adequate and appropriate storage facilities and knowledge of food hygiene practices.

The Chef’s Counter was ordered to close after an inspection found that the storage of ingredients was inappropriate as it did not protect the goods from “harmful deterioration” or contamination.

Additionally, the business relied on a shelf in the kitchen to cool foods, was deemed unsafe as “the compact nature of the kitchen” and the use of cooking equipment meant that the room temperature was “not conducive to cooling foods within a safe timeframe”.

The business had failed to establish the critical control points for cooling food, the report said. “Apart from the hot food counter, the remainder of this food provided to customers is cooked and cooled. The lack of documentation regarding the cooling of a large volume of foods in this business is not acceptable.”

“Without adequate control and monitoring of the cooling process, foods which are vulnerable to the growth of pathogens are at risk of contamination.”

Dr Pamela Byrne, the FSAI Chief Executive, issued a reminder to businesses that ensuring correct and proper food safety practices are in place is crucial to protecting the health of consumers.

She said: “The Enforcement Orders in April show that some businesses have committed serious breaches of food safety procedures. Food businesses must have the appropriate registration and/or approval in place before they start to produce and place food on the market. This requirement means that food businesses will be registered and/or approved with the appropriate inspection agency to ensure food safety and protect consumer health.

“Consumers have a right to safe food and food businesses have a legal requirement to ensure that the food they are processing, serving or selling is safe to eat.”

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