In its annual report the FSAI stated that one in four of the 10,898 calls recorded (up seven per cent on 2009) related to consumers reporting issues concerning food and food establishments.
Of the 2,126 food-related complaints lodged by consumers there were:
• 914 complaints on unfit food
• 433 complaints on suspected food poisoning
• 402 complaints on hygiene standards
• 156 complaints on incorrect information on food labeling
• 25 complaints on incorrect advertising of food products
• 196 other
The FSAI confirms that contamination with foreign objects was frequently reported by consumers. In 2010, such reports included food contaminated with: live and dead insects; a tooth; a needle; safety pins; stones and a cotton bud.
Specific incidents cited included a live beetle found in a bag of Caesar salad; a moth in a Madeira cake; a ring-washer in a bowl of soup and a zip in a black pudding.
Consumer concerns relating to poor hygiene standards in food premises ranged from staff not wearing hairnets when handling food to no hot water or soap in bathroom facilities as well as insects and rodents visible in food premises.