The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) stated that there were a total of 82 Enforcement Orders served for breaches in food safety legislation in 2011 compared with 73 in 2010, an increase totaling 12 percent.
The FSAI re-emphasized that it is unacceptable that some food businesses were continuing to breach food safety laws and warned all food businesses to place robust food safety management systems and hygiene practices top of their agenda for the New Year or face the full rigors of the law.
Between January 1st and December 31st, 2011, enforcement officers served 66 Closure Orders, six Improvement Orders and 10 Prohibition Orders on food businesses throughout the country. This compares with 57 Closure Orders, four Improvement Orders and 12 Prohibition Orders issued in 2010.
In the month of December 2011, five Closure Orders were served on food businesses for breaches of food safety legislation pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998. The Orders were issued by environmental health officers (EHOs) in the HSE West Region; the HSE Dublin Mid Leinster Region and the HSE Dublin North East Region.
Closure Orders were served on:
- Corn Food Court, Linehall Street, Castlebar, Mayo
- Regency Hotel (Kitchens and Bars), Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9
- Food business operating from Car& Table, Circular Road Carpark, Roscommon
- Glenmore Meats, Carntressy, Pettigo, Donegal
- Phelan's Shop, Castletown, Laois
During the month of December, a successful prosecution was carried out by the HSE Dublin Mid Leinster Region on Chicken Bite, 45 Main Street, Portlaoise, Laois.
Commenting on the annual figures, Prof Alan Reilly, chief executive, FSAI stated that the FSAI and the enforcement officers will continue to implement a rigorous inspection policy in 2012 to ensure full compliance with food safety legislation is achieved industry wide.
"The 2011 enforcement figures represent an increase on the 2010 figures, which were themselves the highest seen in the past decade, a disappointing statistic to be reporting. 2011 also saw two instances whereby the breach of closure orders led to High Court action being taken by the FSAI. The High Court's decisions to uphold the closure orders were welcomed and should serve as a warning that non-compliance with enforcement orders will not be tolerated. Most food businesses are committed to high standards for the health of their customers and the good of their business. However, we urge food businesses to make sure that there is a food safety management system in place and that it is consulted on a regular basis and updated where necessary throughout the year," said Prof Reilly.
"The onus is on each individual food business to ensure that all staff handling and preparing food are up to date on best safety and hygiene practices. If any food business operator is unsure of what is required of them by law, they can contact our advice line (1 890 336677), visit our facebook page or indeed visit our website www.fsai.ie," Prof Reilly concludes.