92 enforcement orders were served on food businesses in 2023, up 19% on year before

By Katy Thornton

January 11, 2024 at 5:11pm

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The number has increased from the 77 reported in 2022.

There was a 19% increase in enforcement orders served on food businesses in 2023 compared to 2022, jumping up from 77 to 92.

According to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) 76 closure orders, three improvement orders and 13 prohibition orders were served on food businesses between January 1st 2023 and December 31st 2023, with six prosecutions taken also.

The following breaches were some of the reasons behind the enforcement orders.

  • Inadequate temperature control in food storage, preparation and distribution
  • Insufficient staff training in food safety, personal hygiene and record keeping
  • A lack of pest control procedures such as monitoring and pest proofing
  • Inadequate food storage with the risk of contamination

Chief Executive of the FSAI, Dr Pamela Byrne said this of the increase in enforcement orders served.

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"As a result of the inspections carried out by Environmental Health Officers, local authority veterinary inspectors, sea-fisheries protection officers and FSAI officers, a total of 92 food businesses were served with legal orders for breaches of food safety law in 2023. While each of these Enforcement Orders was necessary for the protection of consumer health in relation to food safety, we should not be seeing such breaches of food law occurring in food businesses at all.

"Enforcement Orders are served on food businesses only when a risk to consumer health has been identified, or where there are a number of ongoing breaches of food legislation. It is a legal obligation for food businesses to ensure that they are proactive in adhering to food safety regulations. Each month, food safety inspectors find similar, basic and fundamental breaches of food law, which are unacceptable. As we enter 2024, we urge food businesses to always prioritise and promote a culture of food safety in their businesses."

Food businesses faced with closure orders or improvement orders remain on the FSAI website for three months after correctional action has been taken, and those served with prohibition orders are listed for a period of one month from the date the order was lifted.

Header image via Getty 

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