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Rodents infestations and cockroaches: 42 enforcement orders served on takeaways and restaurants in 2020

This compares to 125 enforcement orders being served in 2019.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Shutterstock/Volodymyr Goinyk

THERE WAS A 67% decrease in the number of enforcement orders issued by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) last year. 

In total, 42 enforcement orders were served on food businesses for breaches in food safety legislation in 2020. This compares to 125 enforcement orders being served in 2019. 

The drop in numbers largely reflects the impact of Covid-19, where large numbers of food service businesses were temporarily closed for long periods throughout the year, and is not necessarily due to improved food safety practices, the FSAI said. 

Over the course of 2020, a total of 31 closure orders, two improvement orders and nine prohibition orders were issued by environmental health officers in the HSE, veterinary inspectors and FSAI officers on food businesses throughout the country. 

The types of recurring food safety issues that led to enforcement orders in 2020 were: 

  • Unregistered and unsupervised food businesses. 
  • Filthy conditions. 
  • Evidence of rodent infestations and rodent droppings. 
  • The presence of cockroaches. 
  • Failure to maintain temperature of foodstuffs. 
  • Unsuitable food storage facilities. 
  • Improper or lack of water facilities. 

“While in a normal year it would be very encouraging to see such a substantial drop in the need for enforcement orders, in 2020, however, it is likely that most of the reduction reflects the temporary closure of food businesses for many months due to Covid-19 restrictions,” FSAI Chief Executive Dr Pamela Byrne said. 

“Notwithstanding this, 42 enforcement orders are still too many, as it shows that, unfortunately, there continues to be a minority of food businesses not complying with their legal requirements,” Dr Byrne said. 

“Consumers have a right to safe food. Food businesses must comply with food law and all breaches of food safety legislation will be dealt with to the full extent of the law,” she said.  

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The FSAI reiterated the importance of robust food safety management systems and stressed that the legal responsibility lies with food businesses to ensure that the food they sell is compliant with food safety legislation and is safe to eat. 

Details of the food businesses served with enforcement orders are published on the FSAI’s website here.

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