Updated: 13/02/18 : 14:29:07
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
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.”
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
The FSAI Advice Line, which operates from 9am to 5pm weekdays, is manned by trained advisors and food scientists and can be reached at
or through the ‘make a complaint’
section of the FSAI website