Last year saw an increase in public complaints against the Irish Food Safety Authority’s (FSAI) advice line and a spike in food poisoning reports.
In 2022, we received 4,058 consumer complaints. About 1,200 cases involved unsuitable food items, and more than 1,100 cases each due to poor hygiene standards and suspected food poisoning. Foodborne illness concerns have nearly doubled from 622 in 2021.
Overall, there will be an 18.9% increase in complaints in 2022 compared to the 2021 figures, continuing the upward trend over the past decade.
All complaints received by FSAI were followed up by food inspectors nationwide.
The foreign object in the food was a piece of glass. wood; plastic; paper; metal; hair;
Examples included a live snail in a spinach pack. Live maggots in fried chicken. Some of the disposable gloves on the rocky road biscuits. Dirty, possibly bloody plaster of curry. Garlic cheese chips garnish. Glass pieces of coffee beans. Chicken wings metal shavings.
Complaints that the meat listed in Inappropriate Foods was not fully cooked. mold on food; food sold past the expiration date; Items were served cold instead of hot.
Hygiene issues included delivery of fish left outside in the sun. Excessive flies and dirty business establishments. rodent droppings; no soap in the bathroom; Poor hygiene practices among employees, including staff not washing their hands.
Labeling was behind 150 complaints, 127 of which were made for allergen information. More than 60 were from unregistered food businesses, down from his 162 in 2021. Those starting a food company can find resources and training on her website at FSAI.
In 2022, we received 3,305 inquiries from people working in the food service sector. Manufacturers; Retailers; Distributors; Researchers; Consultants; and Consumers. A popular topic was food business and best practices in food safety law. Dietary Supplement Regulations; FSAI Publication Requests and Import/Export Questions.
Importance of problem reporting
FSAI chief executive Pamela Byrne said reporting food safety issues is essential.
“We would like to thank the food industry as well as the public for reporting food safety issues. Food businesses have a legal obligation to provide safe food and It will be of great benefit to environmental health officers, veterinary and agricultural inspectors, marine fisheries inspectors, and laboratories that people notice and contact us, as they conduct regular inspections and food samples throughout the country. While we are analyzing the complaints, they help us identify problems so we can quickly address potential threats to public health,” she said.
“The increase in complaints shows that people are becoming more aware of their right to expect high standards of hygiene and food safety when it comes to food. If you encounter any, we encourage you to report the issue to the FSAI so that the relevant food safety inspector can investigate.”
In 2022, the FSAI launched a “See Something, Say Something” digital communication campaign to raise consumer awareness of online complaint services.
The FSAI Advice Line is staffed by food scientists and trained advisors and can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or the complaint form on the FSAI website.
It was also recently reported that the consumer contact point of Belgium’s Federal Food Chain Safety Agency (FASFC) received 5,000 complaints and 6,600 questions in 2022.
During the salmonella scare at Ferrero’s Belgian chocolate factory, we saw a surge in requests for information. Following the recall of various Kinder products, he received over 2,000 questions just before the Easter holidays.
Belgian authorities have also recorded 240 complaints about the online sale of food in 2022.
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