The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) recently announced that a whopping ten closure orders were served on Irish food businesses by environmental health officers during June and another business (Sligo Spice & Halal Point) was served a prohibition order. In addition, the Brewery Bar in Letterkenny was successfully prosecuted by HSE West.
Food safety is always a very serious issue for any food business, but is possible even more so in the summer months when more people are eating out, warmer weather makes it more challenging to store food at correct temperatures, businesses may be taking on temporary staff for the summer and regular staff may be on holiday. Indeed, during recent food safety audits Goodrich Consulting have found that food safety standards are more likely to lapse during the summer period. I’m not sure if it’s the sun going to our heads, but common problems are basic food safety records such as fridge temperatures, cooking temperatures, traceability records not being completed; as well as untrained summer staff making basic food hygiene mistakes such as poor hygiene practices when handling food, poor personal hygiene standards and a lack of ownership or responsibility for food safety. This is often the case when the regular HACCP team leader or food safety co-ordinator is on holiday. We all need a holiday, but food businesses would benefit from ensuring that a suitably trained deputy is available to take over responsibility when the regular person is on holiday, after all that’s one of the benefits of the HACCP team approach. Businesses would seriously benefit by ensuring that all staff, including seasonal & temporary staff are appropriately trained in food safety, which ultimately would protect their bottom line and should be seen as an investment, rather than an onerous overhead.
for the record, the ten closure orders for June were:
- Punjabi Taste, 25 Mary Street, Dungarvan, Waterford
- New Geneva Indian Restaurant, New Geneva Bar, Passage East, Waterford
- Punjab Curry House, Main Street, Schull,Cork
- The Tasty, 71 Thomas Street, Dublin 8
- Tasty Hut, 61 Upper Dorset Street, Dublin 1
- Trinity Rooms, The Granary, Michael Street, Limerick
- Bombay Spice, 404 South Circular Rd, Dublin 8
- Siopa Iasc (Moycullen Seafoods) wholesaling activities, Unit 3 Cearnog Nua, Moycullen , Galway
- Hamdans Kebab House, Main Street, Cullen, Mallow, Cork
- Dolce Mundo, Navan, Meath
Commenting Prof Alan Reilly, Chief Executive, FSAI said, “Figures for June have shown a dramatic increase in the number of enforcement orders served by EHO’s, notably the number of Closure Orders escalating from four to ten this month. Such a sizeable rise is not only hugely disappointing but also an unacceptable statistic to be reporting today. Consumers have to be confident that the food they are eating is safe to eat and the FSAI and enforcement officers will continue to use a zero tolerance policy in relation to breaches of food safety legislation. Food businesses should take full advantage of the information and support made available by the FSAI and its official agencies to ensure a basic and consistent food safety management plan is developed and put in place in line with legislation.”