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Dublin: -1°C Thursday 6 May 2021

D'you want flies with that? Irish eaters find 'foreign objects' in their food

Food Safety Authority reveals that insects and random objects were found in people’s meals in 2010.

Waiter, waiter! There's a fly in my soup...
Waiter, waiter! There's a fly in my soup...
Image: Orin Zebest via Flickr/Creative Commons

FANCY A MOTH in your Madeira cake? Or how about a tooth in your bag of nuts?

These are just some of the unsavoury items people found in food they bought last year, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

The FSAI confirmed that “contamination with foreign objects” was frequently reported by consumers, such as food contaminated with: live and dead insects; a tooth; a needle; safety pins; stones; and a cotton bud.

Perhaps it’s not surprising then that the FSAI received 914 complaints about unfit food, 402 complaints about hygiene standards and 433 complaints about suspected food poisoning in 2010.

One person found a live beetle in their bag of Caesar salad; another nearly bit into a ring washer in a bowl of soup; and a person got a nasty surprise when they discovered a zip in their black pudding.

Consumers also reported their concerns about poor hygiene standards in premises around the country, including staff not wearing hairnets when handling food and insects and rodents visible in food premises.

The FSAI said that their environmental health officers followed up and investigated all the complaints they received.

Edel Conway, Information Manager, FSAI added:

Consumers are becoming more vigilant; they expect and should get an adequate standard of food hygiene in every food establishment and across every food product they purchase. We encourage anyone who witnesses poor hygiene or food safety standards to report the matter to the FSAI, so that it can be investigated by the environmental health officers.

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