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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Food business fined for beef labelling offence

A company has been prosecuted for offences relating to the labelling of beef products.

Zaiqa Foods, Unit D 18, South Ring, West Business Park, Tramore Road, Co. Cork has been prosecuted under the European Communities (Labelling of Beef and Beef Products) Regulations, 2000 (S.I. No 435/2000).

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) confirmed that the date of the offence was August 23rd, 2020 and the court hearing took place on September 22nd, 2020.

Wholesaler/distributor Mr Zubair Aslam (New Aroma Foods LTD) was convicted, which led to costs of €750 being awarded and a €500 fine was imposed.

Sewage in basement and rodent activity  

Meanwhile, two closure orders were served on food businesses during the month of September for breaches of food safety legislation, pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998.

The reasons for the closure orders in September include: the accumulation of sewage and wastewater in the basement accompanied by a strong unpleasant smell; and evidence of rodent activity in the food storage area, posing a serious risk of contamination to food.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI has emphasised the importance of vigorous pest control systems and fully functioning wastewater systems, which should be facilitated by appropriate food safety management systems across all food businesses in Ireland.

Low number of closure orders 

“It is disconcerting that we continue to see the need to take enforcement action for insufficient pest control issues.”

“While the number of closure orders was low in September, it was disappointing to see another month with orders relating to the presence or evidence of rodents in food premises.”

“Food businesses must ensure that robust pest control systems are in place to achieve satisfactory hygiene standards and provide customers with safe food.”

Incidents involving rodents in food preparation areas reflects poorly on the majority of food businesses who operate to high standards of food hygiene, she added.

‘Sound alarm bells’

“Failures in sewage systems should also sound alarm bells for food businesses.”
It is simply unacceptable for a food business to continue to operate when their sewage/wastewater systems have issues, she stressed.

“Food business owners are responsible for ensuring best practices in relation to food handling and food storage in their business. Failure to do this puts their customers at risk.”

“It’s also important to comply with rules on food labelling, which ensure customers are fully informed about the food they buy,” Dr Byrne concluded.

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