The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) served four Enforcement Orders on food businesses during the month of February for breaches of food safety legislation, pursuant to the FSAI Act 1998, the authority has announced.

Of these, two food manufacturers in Co. Cork were issued with prohibition orders, while a restaurant and food stall were served with closure orders last month.

The enforcement orders were issued by environmental health officers in the Health Service Executive (HSE) and officers of the FSAI.

Two closure orders were served under the FSAI Act 1998 on: Soma restaurant, Tuckey Street, Cork; and
Twisted Dough Wicklow, a food stall trading at the Crescent Boyle, Roscommon.

Meanwhile, the two prohibition orders were served under the FSAI Act 1998 on: Bally Bia, a manufacturer based in Ballydehob Community Hall, Ballydehob, Cork; and Irish Gold Venison Ltd., a small meat manufacturing plant at Ballinwillin House, Mitchelstown, Cork.

According to the FSAI, some of the reasons for the enforcement orders in February include: rodent droppings found in a store room (for both food and non-food), as well as in the vicinity of the service area of a restaurant; immediate risk of cross contamination due to raw chicken being prepared on a folding table beside the coffee machine at a food stall; an absence of running hot and cold water for the washing and disinfection of equipment.

Other reasons included: foods being processed at an unapproved establishment; and a premises that was not approved for cutting bovine species.

Commenting today (Monday, March 8), FSAI CEO Dr. Pamela Byrne emphasised the importance of all food businesses observing rigorous food hygiene practices and ensuring that their business is notified to the relevant competent authority.

“The enforcement orders served in February highlight the need for all food businesses to meet their legal requirements of high standards of food safety, hygiene and pest control to prevent food contamination and protect consumer health,” she said.

All food businesses must be notified to the relevant competent authority prior to operating. This requirement ensures 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,” Dr. Byrne concluded.

Closure orders and improvement orders will remain listed on the website for a period of three months from the date of when a premises is adjudged to have corrected its food safety issue, with prohibition orders being listed for a period of one month.