Firm behind Tayto prosecuted over food safety issue

Four closure orders, one prohibition order served on businesses in December

Largo Food, based in Ashbourne, was prosecuted by Health Service Executive (HSE) environmental health officers under an EU law regulating safe food and animal feed.  Photograph: Mr Tayto Facebook page

Largo Food, based in Ashbourne, was prosecuted by Health Service Executive (HSE) environmental health officers under an EU law regulating safe food and animal feed. Photograph: Mr Tayto Facebook page

 

The company behind the Tayto and Hunky Dorys crisp brands was one of two prosecuted over food safety issues last month, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

Largo Foods, based in Ashbourne, was prosecuted by Health Service Executive (HSE) environmental health officers under an EU law regulating safe food and animal feed.

The company admitted at Navan District Court that it sold crisps containing a high amount of gluten in a packet that was supposed to be gluten-free.

The court heard on December 16th that a woman from Arklow, Co Wicklow, had bought a packet of O’Donnell’s Mature Irish Cheese and Onion gluten-free crisps for her 10-year-old son in May last year. She noticed her child began to suffer a reaction to the crisps when his ears turned red.

Judge Gráinne Malone at Navan District Court said that the case was “a very serious matter and she fined the compnay €2,000 and ordered it to pay costs of €2,000.

Auckley Ltd, which trades as The Palace bar in Navan, Co Meath, was also prosecuted in December for breaching food safety laws. The company was fined €500 for breaking food hygiene regulations and ordered to pay costs of €1,461.65.

Four closure orders and one prohibition order were served on businesses last month, bringing the total number of enforcement orders issued in 2016 to 106 – the same as for 2015.

Closure orders were served under the FSAI Act 1998 in December on A Chef Kebab food stall, Daltons Pub car park, Fuerty, Roscommon and on the Day to Day shop, 54 Georges Street Upper, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

Closure orders

Separately, two closure orders were served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations 2010 on Palak Restaurant, High Street, Tuam, Co Galway and on Ali Baba (restaurant/café), Bank Place, Rathkeale, Co Limerick.

The prohibition order was served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations 2010 on I&A Organic Gardening and Catering (food processor), 21 Shandon Way, Shandon, Co Cork.

Between January 1st and December 31st 2016, food inspectors served 94 closure orders, three improvement orders and nine prohibition orders on food businesses in the State.

The FSAI said the types of recurring food safety issues were poor cleaning and sanitation of premises; poor personal hygiene; lack of running water; inadequate hand washing facilities; incorrect food storage; lack of or ineffective pest control programme; structural problems arising from lack of ongoing maintenance and lack of or an inadequate food safety management system.

FSAI chief executive Dr Pamela Byrne said enforcements and most especially closure orders and prohibition orders were never served for minor food safety breaches.

“They are served on food businesses only when a serious risk to consumer health has been identified or where there are a number of ongoing breaches of food legislation and that largely tends to relate to serious and grave hygiene or other operational issues,” said Dr Byrne.

“There is no excuse for careless food safety practices. Food inspectors are encountering the same issues time and time again,” she said.

“The typical reasons why enforcement orders have to be served are easily avoidable. While the vast majority of food businesses are compliant with food safety legislation, we still continue to face negligent practices that are potentially putting consumer’s health at risk.”

Dr Byrne urged food businesses to take full advantage of the information and support provided by food inspectors and the FSAI to ensure that they have the correct food safety management systems in place.

Further information and full details of the most recent orders is available on the FSAI’s website at fsai.ie.