The Irish Food Safety report for 2016 reveals some truly disgusting breaches in standards
Some of the reasons for the alerts are disgusting.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has published its annual report outlining key activity for 2016.
The report, which is available for download here, outlines topics such as food alerts, allergen alerts, advice line queries as well as breaches of food law and food fraud.
FSAI found that 2016 had the highest number of food alerts in a decade with 39 food alerts resulting in product recalls or withdrawals from the Irish market.
Reasons for recall included the presence of foreign bodies (which are any undesirable solid objects in food such as glass, metal fragments or even bones), bugs and chemical contamination.
There were 28 food allergen alerts issued in Ireland in 2016 and milk, soybeans, eggs and nuts were the most common allergens incorrectly labelled or declared in that year.
FSAI supervised almost 50,000 food businesses across the country in 2016 with the help of official agencies under a service contract to them.
There were 106 Enforcement Orders issued on food businesses for breaches in food safety legislation; these included 94 Closure Orders, 3 Improvement Orders and 9 Prohibition Orders.
The Advice Line handled 10,497 queries with cigarette butts, human nails and even traces of rat all found in people's food.
Furthermore, 166 risk assessments were carried out providing a scientific basis to underpin risk management decisions, and 34 suspected breaches of food law and food fraud were investigated.
According to Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI, 2016 marked the first year of the FSAI’s strategy for 2016 – 2018 which sets out a significant roadmap for the organisation for these three years.
“At its core, our strategy’s vision is to continually ensure safe and trustworthy food for everyone. We seek to focus on protecting consumers through leading a collaborative food safety community to continuously raise food standards and create a culture of excellence in Ireland where the food industry not only complies with the regulations, but seeks to exceed standard," Byrne said.