Suspected food poisoning complaints increase by 45%

Allegations of foreign objects in food, meanwhile, included a human nail in a takeaway meal and a cigarette butt in a bag of chips

Suspected food poisoning complaints increase by 45%

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There was a 45% rise in the number of complaints from consumers relating to suspected food poisoning last year, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

The organisation says it received a total of 3,202 complaints from consumers last year relating to food, food premises and food labelling.

741 of the complaints were over suspected food poisoning. 1,126 concerned 'unfit food', while 864 focused on hygiene standards.

The FSAI says it also received frequent complaints of foreign objects in food. Allegations included a human nail found in a takeaway meal, glass in a dessert, a live insect in a packaged dessert, and a cigarette butt in a bag of chips.

Complaints about hygiene standards included rats being seen on premises and dirty toilet facilities.

There was also an allegation of a deli worker continuing to prepare sandwiches without washing their hands after sneezing.

Edel Smyth, Information Manager with the FSAI, observed: "There is a culture developing amongst consumers, which indicates zero tolerance towards poor hygiene standards and, in particular, food that is unfit to eat.

"As consumers in Ireland become more vocal about the standards they expect from food establishments, we are seeing a welcomed increase in the level of complaints we receive directly from consumers."

Information on how to make a complaint can be found on the FSAI website.