FSAI issues 21 Closure Orders in April

This is the most Closure Orders the FSAI has issued in a single month since November 2019

Closure Orders and Improvement Orders will be on FSAI’s website for three months after a premises fixes its food safety issue (Photo by lilartsy via Pexels)

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) reported that 21 Closure Orders were served on food businesses during the month of April for breaches of food safety legislation, pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998 and the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020. The Closure Orders were issued by Environmental Health Officers in the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Fifteen closure orders  were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 and six closure orders were served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020.

Some of the reasons for the Enforcement Orders in April include: evidence of rodent infestation; significant amounts of rodent droppings throughout the premises; ongoing cockroach infestation in the premises; mouse droppings in multiple food areas; heavy rodent and cockroach activity; the sale of food with the claim ‘nut free’ or ‘gluten free’ in a premises that contains tree nuts and peanuts; premises not kept in a sufficiently hygienic condition; evidence of altering the ‘use by’ dates and batch numbers on food and providing false labels on food; walls of an establishment in a poor state of structural repair with extensive dampness, mould growth and flaking; food handlers not supervised or instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters commensurate with their work activity; failure to establish, maintain and provide evidence of a food safety culture.

Dr Pamela Byrne, chief executive, FSAI, said: “Twenty one Closure Orders served in one month is the highest number since November 2019, when the same number were also issued. Amongst the reasons for the Closure Orders in April, a lack of adequate procedures to control pests was frequently cited. This resulted in evidence of widespread mice and cockroach activity, which leads to a serious risk of food being contaminated and poses a grave and immediate danger to public health.

“Food businesses must ensure that their food business is properly pest proofed, and that they take effective action if there is a pest infestation. Each month, we issue the list of Enforcement Orders as a deterrent, but it seems that last month, food safety fell off the list of priorities for quite a number of food businesses. Consumers have a right to safe food and food safety must always be a top priority for food businesses. There are no excuses. Food safety is a legal requirement for all food businesses.”

Details of the food businesses served with Enforcement Orders are published on the FSAI’s website.

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