Tag Archives: food safety ireland

Two Food Companies scoop Cavan Enterprise Awards

Congratulations to Áines Chocolates who won the overall award at last Friday night’s County Cavan Enterprise Awards. Ann Rudden’s company will now go onto to represent County Cavan at the regional Enterprise Awards and hopefully to the National awards too !!  Goodrich Training are very pleased to be associated with Áines chocolates, providing technical food safety & quality systems mentoring.

Congratulations also to Gillian Traynor of Nutrisnax, who won “Best Emerging Business”. Goodrich Training provided HACCP and food safety training for Gillian.

Ten Food Safety Closures & One Prohibition Order for June

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.”

Social Media Roots Out “Killer Cucumbers”

So how many people stopped eating cucumbers when the German Authorities announced that they were the source of the recent and ongoing E.coli outbreak in Germany and elsewhere in Europe?  However, as we all know by now and as the Spanish Government are at pains to point out, it had nothing to do with Spanish “killer cucumbers” but orginated in sprouts from a North German farm and now the import of certain sprout seeds has been banned.  no wonder that Spain is looking for compensation, as losses were running at €20 million a week, with 150,000 tons of Spanish fruit & vegetables piling up every week at the height of the scare.

Prof. Alan Reilly of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) speaking at a conference in Dublin on Applied Microbiology said that with headlines like “Killer Cucumbers” a story can spread like wildfire on social media networks and become more exaggerated with each telling, due to the lack of editorial content.  It has therefore become very difficult for Europe’s national food bodies to keep pace with such developments. Citing the case of the Germans blaming Spanish cucumbers, he said “if you get it wrong, you are really in trouble”.  The problem is that once a story “gets legs” and develops at a blistering pace on social media networks, it may not be possible to reverse the damage done to food products as quickly as their reputation was damaged in the first place. Reilly’s advice therefore is to proceed with caution when releasing information and verification of facts is important.

However it’s not all bad news, as many scientists shared information through social media networks during the incident. It was the first time that such networks contributed to the identification of the genetic make up of this organism. “Finding the DNA sequence of the organism would have taken 2 – 3 years in the past, but this time it took 2 days said Reilly.

Duck Egg Legislation

Those of you who have been following the whole saga of Salmonella food poisoning in duck eggs  last summer, which looks set to return with the current warm weather, maybe interested in legislation to control Salmonella in duck eggs which the Irish Government have introduced since the last outbreak. It can be found on the Attorney General’s website at: http://www.attorneygeneral.ie/esi/2010/B28045.pdf

For general information  on the safe handling of duck eggs is available on the FSAI website or from Goodrich Training & Consultancy.

McCarrens Withdraws Cooked Ham

McCarren & Co Ltd of Cavan have issued a product withdrawal for certain batches of their cooked ham supplied to the catering trade. The company state that potential processing errors may lead to microbial contamination.

full details including affected batch codes can be found at the FSAI website: http://www.fsai.ie/news_centre/food_alerts/mccarrenHam_withdrawal.html

Although no information appears to be available on the company’s own website: http://www.mccarrenmeats.com/index.html, which would seem somewhat suprising, as it must be a good way of communicating vital information like this to a company’s customers.

Why do product recalls always happen at weekends or just before bank holiday weekends at that?

Food Contamination

Tesco have just recalled some of their “Tesco Finest” ready meals with mashed potato due to metal fragments in the mash. This really calls into question the reliability of metal detectors in food factories and how they are used? For more information see: goodrich.ie