The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) issued 77 enforcement orders on food businesses last year, an increase of 31 per cent on 2021's figures.
In 2022, the FSAI served 65 Closure Orders and 12 Prohibition Orders for breaches in food safety legislation.
A number of recurring safety issues resulted in the issuing of enforcement orders, the authority said, including improper storage of food with risk of possible contamination, a lack of pest control procedures, monitoring and pest proofing, and a lack of proper temperature control in the storage.
Other breaches related to preparation and distribution of food and inadequate staff training in relation to food safety, personal hygiene and record keeping.
77 Enforcement Orders served on food businesses in 2022
Closure Orders & Prohibition Orders were issued by Environmental Health Officers in the @hselive, sea-fisheries protection officers in SFPA & officers of the FSAI. Please see: https://t.co/82oUB0DRSi #consumerprotection pic.twitter.com/HPwy3HzXsv
— FoodSafetyAuthority (@FSAIinfo) January 10, 2023
FSAI chief Dr Pamela Byrne expressed her disappointment at the increase in breaches of food safety legislation.
"Through the hard work of our partner agencies and food inspectors in 2022, food businesses that disregarded the law and put consumer health at risk were stopped. However, this should not be happening.
"Enforcement Orders are served on food businesses only when a risk to consumer health has been identified or where there are a number of ongoing breaches of food legislation. Food businesses should not be falling short on their legal requirements.
"They should adhere to food safety regulations at all times. It is disappointing that month after month, food inspectors find similar, basic and fundamental breaches of food law."
The FSAI also reported six closure orders issued in December 2022 on Tuesday, and one closure order issued in November 2022.