A food business operator in the Republic of Ireland has been found guilty of violating food safety regulations.
O Cathain Iasc Teoranta, based in the town of Dingle, County Kerry, was fined €5,250 ($5,800) after being found to have violated food safety laws and bluefin tuna regulations.
The ruling in late April in Dingle District Court follows an indictment by the Marine Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA) and the Director of Public Prosecutions.
SFPA is the agency responsible for food law enforcement in the seafood sector through to retail.
The company pleaded guilty to violations of food safety laws, including marketing an unsafe bluefin tuna product, failing to comply with food hygiene requirements, and failing to control the temperature of bluefin tuna products.
They also admitted to violating food traceability regulations and certain bluefin tuna traceability requirements.
The incident followed an unannounced inspection at the company’s premises in March 2021, which resulted in the suspension of retail shipments of bluefin tuna products.
“The SFPA is focused on convictions for serious violations of these food safety and fisheries laws. “It’s important to protect trust. This incident was particularly serious because the bluefin tuna was found without the necessary traceability information.”
Enforcement figures by quarter
In the final quarter of 2022, SFPA also issued 10 mandatory notices on seafood businesses for violating food safety laws.
These included 7 compliance notices, 2 remediation notices, and 1 fixed payment notice.
This action was taken by SFPA personnel during formal risk-based controls. The officer conducted his 60 tests at the onshore facility in the fourth quarter of 2022.
In one case, the Castletown Bellet Fisheries Association pleaded guilty to food safety violations after an inspection conducted in October 2021. This was related to the condition of some food premises, failure to ensure pest control and protection against contamination, and failure. Comply with traceability procedures for raw seafood. The defendant said he was fined €2,000 ($2,200) and ordered to pay the costs.
SFPA Executive Chairman Paschal Hayes said: The low level of non-compliance found indicates that seafood companies are making great efforts to work within regulations, and that robust inspection systems are in place to ensure compliance and, if necessary, enforce it. indicates that ”
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