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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020

Chewing gum in wraps, a tooth in a takeaway and maggots in mashed potato - over nine food complaints a day in 2017

Over a third of those relate to unfit food.

shutterstock_520053466 Source: Shutterstock/GOLFX

OVER 3,400 FOOD complaints were registered by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) last year – over nine a day.

Over a third of those relate to unfit food.

Complaints included:

  • Chewing gum being reported several times as being present in a number foods including sandwich wraps and scrambled egg from a breakfast buffet; and in takeaway rice.
  • A long black hair in a sandwich
  • Rodent droppings in a bag of crisps
  • A tooth in a takeaway dish
  • Larvae in a jar of beetroot
  • A piece of glass in a smoothie
  • Maggots in mashed potato
  • A wasp in a packet of rashers.

Complainants in these incidents cited rats, mice and flies as being present.  Others included poor personal hygiene habits of staff working in the food sector.

These reports cited staff wiping their noses when preparing sandwiches, picking up dropped food from the floor and then including the food to make a sandwich and a smell of sewage in food premises.

There were also a number of concerns relating to allergen information including a variety of non-compliance issues such as a lack of allergen information available in restaurants, confused messages regarding the presence of particular allergens in food, lack of awareness by food businesses of the legal requirement to display allergen information, allergens not highlighted on a food label, and allergens present in a food, but not indicated or displayed.

Dr Pamela Byrne, chief executive of the FSAI said:

“In 2017, we undertook a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the importance and legal requirement for allergen information to be displayed and communicated accurately to consumers in food service establishments. We are seeing consumers becoming more aware and having a greater understanding of what they should expect from food establishments in Ireland.”

The FSAI’s advice line also fielded 9,576 queries from people working in the food service sector.

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