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24th Feb 2020

False nails and a moth among complaints about foreign objects found in food in 2019

James Fenton

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has released a report which details the reasons for 3,460 complaints it received throughout 2019.

The year saw a marginal increase on the 3,424 complaints the FSAI received in 2018 and there was a ‘considerable increase among issues relating to poor hygiene standards at 19% and suspected food poisoning incidents were up 8%.’ The breakdown of reasons for the complaints throughout 2019 can be viewed below:

  • 1,134 complaints on hygiene standards
  • 1,082 complaints on unfit food
  • 792 complaints on suspect food poisoning
  • 149 complaints on incorrect information on food labelling
  • 135 complaints on non-display of allergen information
  • 113 other

As well as that, the FSAI outlined the types of foreign object that consumers found in their food, with ‘allegations of food containing insects, plastics and other foreign objects.’ These included hair, false nails, metal, plastic and pieces of stone. Other reports included ‘a snail in a whole chicken; a caterpillar in pork chops; and a butterfly/moth in fresh cream.’

Speaking about the report, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI said: ‘Our Advice Line continues to be a valuable resource enabling consumers and food businesses to contact us with their complaints or queries around food safety. The figures from last year show that consumers too are becoming increasingly attentive as to how food establishments are expected to operate in terms of food safety in Ireland.’

The aforementioned FSAI Advice Line operates from 10am until 4pm on weekdays and if consumers wish to make a complaint about food standards, they can do so via this link.