Food safety body issues warning after 'shocking' fall in standards
MAY was one of the worst ever months for serious food safety problems in restaurants, shops and takeaways.
Health inspectors took action against 19 food businesses over hygiene and safety problems that could endanger public health last month.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) warned businesses to clean up their act as warm summer weather greatly increases the risks of food poisoning.
It was "shocking" that such a high number of food businesses were not compliant with food law, said FSAI director of service contracts Dr Bernard Hegarty.
"The risks for food-borne illness increase as bacteria can multiply rapidly in the warmer temperatures," he said.
The 19 enforcement actions last month matches the previous highest monthly total recorded last October. So far in 2013, some 61 food businesses have received enforcement actions, compared with 109 in the whole of 2012, and the numbers falling short of food safety standards have risen dramatically over the last six years.
The recession could be one factor, but also health inspectors have increased powers under new EU food regulations to take action where there is a breach of food legislation, an FSAI spokesperson said.
Londis supermarket at 12 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2; Chopsticks restaurant in Parnell Mall, Ilac Centre, Dublin 1; Sichuan House Restaurant at 100a Parnell St, Dublin 1; and Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant at 138 Parnell St, Dublin 1 were all served with closure orders, which were lifted when the problems were resolved.
Pacino's restaurant in Suffolk St, Dublin 2, and Morning Star grocery store, Flower Hill, Navan, Co Meath also received closure orders that were later lifted.