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Zero-tolerance pledge on breaches

Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) records show that the 57 closure orders served in 2010 (up to December 23) compare with just 34 last year.

This record tally is 67pc higher than last year and than the average of 34 closures a year over the past decade.

Another four food businesses received improvement orders and 11 got prohibition orders for serious food safety breaches during 2010.

FSAI chief executive Alan Reilly recently pledged to adopt a "zero-tolerance policy on breaches of food safety legislation", warning that consumers had to be confident the food they were eating was safe.

But he also said that in challenging economic times there was a pressing need to target resources toward high-risk food businesses "to refocus a progressively limited resource on where the greatest outcome for the public can be achieved".

The FSAI was collaborating with the HSE's environmental health service to work out how to target the riskiest businesses.

Irish Independent