IRELAND - An audit by EU veterinary inspectors has strongly criticise food safety in small plants monitored by local authorities
The Irish Examiner has learned that EU Food and Veterinary Office inspectors said the condition of the majority of sites they visited under local authority control did not meet legal requirements.
Among the several serious non-compliances detected by local authority veterinary officials last September were:
- The production of meat of different species was taking place without separation at one facility;
- No facility in a cold store for washing hands and no changing area;
- Doors of refrigerated containers were not pest-proof;
- A dog had free access to a cutting room;
- Rusty equipment;
- No sterilising equipment in a cutting room;
- Damaged packages of meat left on the floor and exposed to contamination in a dirty cold store.
Despite these findings, such poultry producers which make up 0.2 per cent of all poultry production in the Republic, still maintain approval to carry on their operations.
Local authority inspectors were criticised for the lack of enforcement actions due to the non-reporting of non-compliances.
The audit concluded: “Overall, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland can guarantee the effectiveness of official controls in establishments supervised by the Department of Agriculture. However, this is not the case in establishments supervised by the local authorities.”
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