Over 90 food businesses were closed by the FSAI in 2016

Three improvement orders and nine prohibition orders were also served

Over 90 food businesses were closed by the FSAI in 2016

A generic stock photo of a half-pounder burger and chips | Image: Philip Toscano PA Archive/PA Images

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) say 94 closure orders were served on food businesses in 2016.

From January to December, three improvement orders and nine prohibition orders were also served on food businesses throughout the country.

The types of recurring food safety issues which lead to the enforcement orders are issues such as poor cleaning and sanitation of premises, poor personal hygiene, lack of running water and inadequate hand washing facilities.

Concerns were also expressed over incorrect food storage, lack of or ineffective pest control programme and structural problems arising from lack of ongoing maintenance.

Separately, 106 enforcement orders were served on businesses for breaches in food safety legislation in last year, equalling the same amount for 2015.

While during the month of December, four closure orders, one prohibition order and two successful prosecutions were served.

Two closure orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:

  • A Chef Kebab Foodstall, At Daltons Pub car park, Fuerty, Roscommon
  • Day to Day (retailer), 54 Georges Street Upper, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Two closure orders were served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010 on:

  • Palak Restaurant, High Street, Tuam, Galway
  • Ali Baba (restaurant/café), Bank Place, Rathkeale, Limerick

And one prohibition order was served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010 on:

  • T/A I&A Organic Gardening and Catering (food processor), 21 Shandon Way, Shandon, Cork

The FSAI underlined the importance of food safety practices, and reaffirmed that the responsibility rests with food businesses to ensure that the food they sell is compliant with food safety legislation and is safe to eat.

The FSAI also stressed that all food businesses must have a detailed food safety management system in place and are legally obliged to have Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) procedures in place.

Commenting on the annual figures, Dr Pamela Byrne, chief executive of the FSAI, said: “Enforcements and most especially closure orders and prohibition orders are never served for minor food safety breaches.

“They are served on food businesses only when a serious risk to consumer health has been identified or where there are a number of ongoing breaches of food legislation and that largely tends to relate to serious and grave hygiene or other operational issues.

“There is no excuse for careless food safety practices. Food inspectors are encountering the same issues time and time again.

“The typical reasons why enforcement orders have to be served are easily avoidable. While the vast majority of food businesses are compliant with food safety legislation, we still continue to face negligent practices that are potentially putting consumer’s health at risk.”