Spider in takeaway cocktail among thousands of complaints received by Food Safety Authority in 2021 4 months ago

Spider in takeaway cocktail among thousands of complaints received by Food Safety Authority in 2021

Patrons were left shaken, not stirred.

A spider in a takeaway cocktail was among the thousands of complaints received by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) from consumers in 2021.

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The FSAI published its annual findings on Wednesday (2 March).

3,414 individual complaints in total were submitted, detailing some especially stomach-churning discoveries customers had encountered while visiting an establishment.

"Foreign body contamination of food" was one of the most frequently-reported issues in 2021.

Examples of foreign bodies found in food include:

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  • Glass found in porridge and sweet potato fries.
  • Hair found in numerous takeaway foods. metal found in baked beans.
  • A maggot found in soup.
  • A metal screw in spareribs.

Reports were also made of food that was deemed unfit to be eaten, including:

  • A can of orange juice filled with beans.
  • A piece of wood found in a container of soup.
  • An exploding bottle of fruit juice.
  • A spider in a takeaway cocktail.
  • A disposable glove in a pie.

The 3,414 complaints were separated into different categories across the country:

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  • 1,235 complaints on unfit food.
  • 815 complaints on hygiene standards.
  • 622 complaints on suspect food poisoning.
  • 162 complaints on unregistered food businesses.
  • 139 complaints on incorrect information on food labelling.
  • 97 complaints on non-display of allergen information.
  • 344 ‘other’ complaints (i.e., unregistered food businesses, COVID-19 restrictions, advertising complaints).

Each complaint was investigated by FSAI inspectors.

"Consumers have a right to safe food," Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of FSAI said.

"Having people spotting and reporting inappropriate and unsafe food and practices greatly aids our work with the food inspectors and provides us with information that we can act upon.

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"Consumers are becoming more aware and have a greater understanding of what they should expect from food businesses in Ireland.

"There has been a considerable increase in complaints regarding unfit food and poor hygiene standards and we thank the public for their increased vigilance," Byrne continued.

"While the figures may be higher in 2021 than 2020, this can partly be contributed to the impact of Covid-19 restrictions.”

Consumers with complaints can file their issues with the FSAI via the Consumer Complaint Form.