Unapproved Co Cavan meat facility issued with closure order

Sales of products from Belturbet processing plant also forbidden, FSAI says

File photograph: An unapproved meat processing facility in Belturbet, Co Cavan has been issued with a closure order by the Department of Agriculture for breaching food safety legislation.

File photograph: An unapproved meat processing facility in Belturbet, Co Cavan has been issued with a closure order by the Department of Agriculture for breaching food safety legislation.

 

An unapproved meat processing facility in Belturbet, Co Cavan has been issued with a closure order by the Department of Agriculture for breaching food safety legislation.

The premises, on the farm of Ivan Ebbitt, Erne Hill, Belturbet, Co Cavan was also issued with a prohibition order, forbidding it from selling products.

The orders were served by the department’s veterinary inspectors on Wednesday.

A statement released by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) said the unapproved food premises was “unhygienic and unsuitable for the purposes of food production”.

It also said all products produced, processed, stored, distributed and placed on the market from the premises were implicated in the enforcement orders.

Closure orders are served where it is deemed that there is, or is likely to be, a grave and immediate danger to public health at the premises. A prohibition order is issued if there is likely to be a serious risk to public health from a particular product, class, batch or item of food. Mr Ebbitt was also issued with a closure order in 2001 in connection with an abattoir run at the same address.

“The FSAI continues to advise consumers to only purchase food products from reputable sources,” the authority said. “The FSAI also reminds retailers to always adhere to the strictest procedures to ensure they only source food products from approved suppliers.”

A statement from the Department of Agriculture said its investigations unit was currently carrying out investigations with An Garda Síochána and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland in relation to alleged unapproved meat processing activities in the Border region.

“It would be inappropriate for the Department to comment on specific aspects of such investigations, which are ongoing,” it said.

“All slaughterhouses whose meat is destined for human consumption must meet the requirements set out in detailed EU food safety regulations,” it said.