According to reports from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (www.fsai.ie) six closure orders and one prohibition order were served on food businesses across the country during January for breaches of food safety legislation. In addition to orders being issued by environmental health officers (EHOs) from the Health Service Executive (HSE), orders were also served by sea-fisheries protection officers in the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority.
The prohibition order served under the FSAI Act 1998 was served on Shellfish De La Mer (fish processing ) Castletownbere, Co. Cork.
Four closure orders were served under the FSAI Act 1998 as follows:
- A1 Kebab (Takeaway) Castle Street, Roscommon
- River View Chinese Restaurant & Takeaway, Abbey Street, Tipperary Town
- Grill To Chill (Takeaway), Oliver Plunkett Road, Letterkenny
- Clare’s Pizzeria (takeaway), 54 New Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
Two closure orders were served under the EC (Official controls of foodstuffs) Regulations 2010 as follows:
- Giles Brothers Fish Shop, 167 Phibsborough, Dublin 7
- Green Masala Indian Takeaway & Restaurant, Westgate, Wexford
Commenting on the enforcement orders, the FSAI chief executive Prof. Alan Reilly said: “Full compliance with food safety and hygiene standards is essential for all food businesses. There is absolutely no excuse for putting consumers’ health at risk through negligent practices. We are urging businesses to take full advantage of the information and support provided by the inspectorate and the FSAI to ensure that they have the correct food safety management systems in place.”
If any food business owner is unsure of what is required, they can contact Goodrich Consultancy or the FSAI advice line on 1890 336677 or visit its website or facebook page.
In addition to the above enforcement orders, the FSAI also stated that two successful prosecutions were carried out by the Health Service Executive on:
- Tralee Central Hotel, Maine Street, Tralee, Co Kerry
- Salvadors/The Med (restaurant), High Street, Killarney, Co Kerry
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.”
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.
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?
Have a cracking Easter and enjoy the eggs. However, it may be a good idea to steer clear of duck eggs for now. A new health warning has been issued in relation to duck eggs, with two new cases of Salmonella typhimurium being reported in the last month. This follows on from 18 cases of Salmonella typhimurium DT8 associated with duck eggs last year and the Minister for Agriculture introducing new measures to control Salmonella in duck eggs. It would seem that fears that the infection would reappear once the laying season recommenced with longer days and warmer temperatures were well founded.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland have produced a useful guideline for small duck egg producers: http://www.fsai.ie/uploadedFiles/Food_Businesses/Topics_of_Interest_to_Food_Businesses/Guidance%20for%20producers%20of%20small%20quantities%20of%20duck%20eggs%20%20Final%20%2013%20Sept%2010.pdf
and advice to users: http://www.fsai.ie/details.aspx?id=9990&terms=duck+eggs