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FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD

More elbow grease needed to improve food safety, says FSAI

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland says the number of enforcement orders are increasing steadily, warning that restaurants and food businesses shouldn’t be cutting corners.

SEVENTEEN ENFORCEMENT ORDERS were served on food businesses by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) in August. There were fifteen closure orders and two prohibition orders served on food businesses also.

“We have observed an increase in orders made against food businesses in recent years. It has been increasing steadily,” Bernard Hegarty of the FSAI told TheJournal.ie.

Closure orders

Five Closure Orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:

  • Akatshi Grill (food stall), Pier Car Park, Donegal Town, Donegal
  • The  Village Takeaway, Kill, Waterford
  • Makkah Halal Food (supermarket), 15 Naas Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
  • Pakway Distributors Ltd, Unit 29 Orion Business Park, Rosemount Business Park, Ballycoolin, Dublin 15
  • Deli Delicious (take away), East End, Rathmore, Kerry

Ten Closure Orders were served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010 on:

  • Meadow View Inn (public house) (kitchen and all food preparation areas only), Dublin Road, Cavan,
  • Village Kitchen (take away), Kilkerrin, Ballinasloe, Galway
  • O’Neills (delicatessen) (The preparation of salads, the regeneration by oven of foods, the making of sandwiches and rolls etc, in the deli counter area only), 7 South Main Street, Wexford
  • Etchingham’s (public house), Main Street, Blackwater, Wexford (two separate Closure Orders were served on this food business)
  • Ali Baba Turkish Kebab House (take away) (Activity closed: manufacture of doner kebabs and the cutting, chopping, slicing and skewering of raw meat and poultry), Unit 1, Dominick Street, Drogheda, Louth
  • Lagoon Cafe, Pirates Cove, Courtown, Wexford
  • Riverside Restaurant, Main Street, Ballyheigue, Kerry
  • Oyster Bar (public house) (Closed area: Danann’s Restaurant and kitchen area of the Oyster Bar only), Main Street, Dunfanaghy, Donegal
  • Eurosaver (supermarket) (Closed activity: the handling and serving of soft ice-cream),  21-23 Main Street, Wexford

Two Prohibition Orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:

  • Steps of Rome (restaurant), Unit 1, Chatham Court, Chatham Street, Dublin 2
  • Pakway Distributors Ltd, Unit 29, Orion Business Park, Rosemount Business Park, Ballycoolin, Dublin 15

Hegarty said there are roughly 50,000 restaurants and food businesses in Ireland, so while 17 enforcement orders in August might not seem like a lot in the whole scheme of things, he says their records show that there has been an increase. Hegarty added:

There is no direct evidence as to why there has been an increase. There is no single factor. We hope that it is not due to food businesses cutting corners due to budgetary constraints. These businesses have to understand that they are under a legal obligation to adhere to food and safety practices.

Hegarty said that what the FSAI are observing is that the majority of restaurants and food businesses that are running into trouble are not over issues linked to expense, but that they are basic issues. He said:

There seems to be a shortage of elbow grease, really. What we are finding is there are basic issues, like evidence of dirt, issues with pest control, raw and cooked food being stored together – quite basic things that shouldn’t be taking place.

He said that the FSAI have had to decrease the number of food inspectors, meaning that while previously, inspectors might have caught problems earlier and taken action, perhaps now problems are escalating. Hegarty said:

Consumers are trusting food businesses to feed them, provide a good service and to comply with food safety regulations. They need to understand they are bound by legal obligations and if they do not and issues are discovered, then action will be taken. All enforcement and prohibition orders are printed on our website, so it is bad for their business, if nothing else.

We want to remind food businesses that it is their responsibility to maintain a certain standard and not to put consumers at risk. If they breach this, then there will be consequences.

Read: Double the number of food safety enforcement orders in July is ‘worrying’>

Read: People buying fewer frozen burgers after horse meat scandal>

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