Updated: 13/02/18 : 14:29:07
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FSAI hotline received 3,400 complaints about contaminated food

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) says its hotline is getting frequent reports about food contaminated with foreign objects including insects, glass and chewing gum.

Over 3,400 consumer complaints were handled by the authority's advice line in 2017 - with over a third relating to unfit food.

The overall number of calls rose by 6% last year, with a 42% rise in complaints about non-display of allergen information on food products.

Others issues included poor personal hygiene habits of staff working in the food sector.

The FSAI states that the categories of complaints were as follows:

    1,233 complaints on unfit food
    896 complaints on hygiene standards
    808 complaints on suspect food poisoning
    183 complaints on incorrect information on food labelling
    103 complaints on non-display of allergen information
    102 other

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI commented: “We welcome consumers and food businesses contacting us via our Advice Line.  Having people spotting and reporting inappropriate and unsafe food and practices greatly aids our work and provides us with information that we can act upon.  The year on year increase in our Advice Line statistics reflect a continued trend where consumers are showing they have zero-tolerance when it comes to poor food safety and hygiene standards in food products and in food premises.  In 2017, we undertook a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the importance and legal requirement for allergen information to be displayed and communicated accurately to consumers in food service establishments. We are seeing consumers becoming more aware and having a greater understanding of what they should expect from food establishments in Ireland.”

The FSAI’s Advice Line, supported by a comprehensive website and online publication ordering system are important resources for the food industry to visit and engage with experts for free advice.  We urge food businesses to take full advantage of the information and support provided to ensure they are meeting their food safety legal requirements.”

The FSAI Advice Line, which operates from 9am to 5pm weekdays, is manned by trained advisors and food scientists and can be reached at info@fsai.ie or through the ‘make a complaint’ section of the FSAI website