Monday 23 July 2018

Customers find a tooth, a wasp, hair, maggots and glass in their food

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Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

A tooth, a strand of hair, a wasp and maggots were just some of the things found in food products last year, according to the food safety watchdog.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland's (FSAI) latest report notes that the agency dealt with more than 3,400 customer complaints last year, an average of 10 a day. This was an increase of 6pc compared with 2016.

The FSAI revealed consumers frequently complain about their food being contaminated with foreign objects.

Droppings

"Examples of complaints received included chewing gum being reported several times as being present in a number of foods including sandwich wraps, scrambled egg from a breakfast buffet and in takeaway rice," the report reads.

"Other foreign objects found in foods were a long black hair in a sandwich, rodent droppings in a bag of crisps, a tooth in a takeaway dish, larvae in jar of beetroot, a piece of glass in a smoothie, maggots in mashed potato and a wasp in a packet of rashers."

Rats, mice and flies in food premises were all reported to the FSAI.

Poor personal hygiene habits of staff were also flagged.

These included staff "wiping their noses while preparing sandwiches".

Others were noted "picking up and using food that had been dropped on the floor".

The non-display of allergen information accounted for 42pc of complaints last year, while objections against incorrect information on food took up 17pc of the reports.

FSAI inspectors followed up and looked into all of the complaints they received last year.

They said their advice line also offers advice and information for people in the industry and they received 9,576 queries in 2017, with the most commonly asked question relating to legislation for food labelling and information for new businesses.

Dr Pamela Byrne, the authority's chief executive, said : "Having people spotting and reporting inappropriate and unsafe food and practices greatly aids our work and provides us with information that we can act upon."

Irish Independent

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