FSAI prosecutes food business over beef labelling offence

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has confirmed that one prosecution was served to a food wholesaler/distributor for offences in relation to the labelling of beef and beef products.

In a statement today (Thursday, October 8) regarding food safety enforcement in the month of September, the authority said:

“One prosecution was served under the European Communities [Labelling of Beef and Beef Products] Regulations, 2000 [S.I. No 435/2000] in relation to: Zaiqa Foods of Unit D 18, South Ring West Business Park, Tramore Road, Cork.”

The date of the offence was listed as August 22, with the hearing taking place on September 23.

Following the prosecution of the wholesaler/distributor, the outcome was a conviction. Costs were awarded, amounting to €750, with fines of €500 also imposed on Zaiqa Foods.

In other news, two closure orders were issued last month to: Boojum restaurant in Patick Street, Limerick; and New World takeaway in Dundalk, Co. Louth.

The reasons for the closure orders in September include: the accumulation of sewage and wastewater in the basement accompanied by a strong unpleasant smell; and evidence of rodent activity in the food storage area, posing a serious risk of contamination to food.

Dr. Pamela Byrne, chief executive of the FSAI, emphasised the importance of vigorous pest control systems and fully functioning wastewater systems, which should be facilitated by appropriate food safety management systems across all food businesses in Ireland.

“It is disconcerting that we continue to see the need to take enforcement action for insufficient pest control issues,” she said.

Food businesses must ensure that robust pest control systems are in place to achieve satisfactory hygiene standards and provide customers with safe food. Incidents involving rodents in food preparation areas reflects poorly on the majority of food businesses who operate to high standards of food hygiene.

“Food business owners are responsible for ensuring best practices in relation to food handling and food storage in their business. Failure to do this puts their customers at risk. It’s also important to comply with rules on food labelling, which ensure customers are fully informed about the food they buy,” Dr. Byrne concluded.