Get used to ‘food authenticity’ Irish minister launches food safety strategy

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has launched a three-year food safety and food authenticity strategy, which aims to help guarantee food safety as the agri-food sector grows.

“Our future plans for food safety and food authenticity are ambitious, but we should not fear the breadth of our ambition as we dedicate our resources to improvement,” Minister Creed stated.

The Department will be working closely with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) to deliver the strategy.

Dr Pamela Byrne of the FSAI said, “Assuring authenticity, monitoring the food chain, detecting fraudulent and deceptive practices and continually developing the best food safety systems, aligned to new and emerging food safety legislation, is embedded in our organisation’s DNA.”

It’s called barfblog.com for a reason: Ireland flight passenger tells how drunk passenger vomited all over his head and laptop

A passenger on board a Ryanair flight has shared his story of a nasty booze-filled disturbance involving another customer.

Speaking to RTE Radio One’s Liveline, Conor Lyden revealed the grim details of how another passenger puked on him and his laptop – all while in mid-air.

The incident occurred on a Ryanair flight to Malaga from Cork.

A passenger, in his late 20s to early 30s, had become “heavily intoxicated” – and despite a delay before takeoff – his antics only worsened as the trip went on.

Conor went on to explain his disappointment towards the Ryanair staff in both the build and aftermath of the incident.

He said: “I was heading away on a family holiday with my parents and my brother.

“I noticed that one passenger, in particular, was heavily intoxicated.

The flight took off despite the man causing a delay with his behaviour

“This passenger tried to bring two glasses of vodka and mixer on to the plane and he was told he wasn’t allowed to bring them on by the staff at the gate but he was allowed to just knock them back there and then.

“This particular passenger was very disruptive, shouting and intimidating other passengers.

“A lot of other passengers complained. I was sitting a couple of seats in front of him at this point.

“I think a lot of people thought he was going to be kicked off the plane, he was quite drunk.”

He came stumbling up the aisle behind me and vomited all over my head and down my front and on to my open laptop

Despite receiving a warning from staff, the passenger continued to consume alcohol they had purchased prior to boarding before covering Conor in vomit.

“Ryanair staff had some baby wipes and hand sanitizer, that was all they could give me. I didn’t have a change of clothes because they take your bag off you.

“So I had to sit there for two hours like that.

“As the largest airline in Europe, Ryanair’s number one priority is the safety of our customers, crew and aircraft and has a zero tolerance policy towards alcohol and disruptive behaviour.

“Ryanair does not allow ‘intoxicated’ passengers onboard our aircraft. We operate strict guidelines for the carriage of customers who are disruptive or appear to be under the influence of alcohol.

“It’s completely unfair that airports can profit from the unlimited sale of alcohol to passengers and leave the airlines to deal with the safety consequences.

Uh-huh.

HSE investigates highly contagious and dangerous case of e coli in Laois, Ireland

The Health Service Executive is investigating a suspected case of E coli in a baby in Laois.

Sinead Moore of RSVP Live reports the HSE launched an investigation late last week after a potentially serious strain of the bacteria was suspected in the Irish infant.

The strain, called VTEC or verotoxigenic E coli, comes from contact with faeces of healthy farm animals. It can be spread through children’s shared toys or during nappy changing.

The child is understood to have since been diagnosed with the less dangerous E coli bacteria, the Leinster Express reports.

The bacteria can cause vomiting and diahorrea.

As part of the investigation, the creche the baby attends, Sonas Community Childcare Centre in Mountmellick Co Laois was contacted last Friday to raise awareness among staff and parents and to examine if other children attending the creche had any similar symptoms.

Fancy food ain’t safe food Irish edition: 9 dead mice discovered in ‘luxury dessert’ business

A “luxury homemade dessert” business has been ordered to close after food safety inspectors discovered nine dead mice in its production area, and mouse droppings on baking trays.

Sweetness Luxury Homemade Desserts in Ardcavan, Co Wexford, was the subject of an inspection by environmental health officers with the Health Service Executive (HSE) in May.

During the inspection, nine dead mice were found in the production area and associated stores directly off the production area. Seven of the dead mice were found below and behind one of the chest freezers in the goods inwards/dispatch area.

One of the dead mice was found in the small store directly off the cold room, while another was observed in a store area behind the partition wall adjacent to the main oven.

There was “prolific evidence” of mice droppings observed in the premises including on all food shelving; on the floor beside the open food packaging shelving; and at all wall/floor joins throughout the dispatch area that opens into the food production area.

Droppings were also observed on shelving and amongst electrical cables and files on the floor of the office in the food production area.

More were observed in baking trays on a trolley stored beside the main oven and adjacent to the wall cladding where other mice droppings had been identified in the production room.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has ordered the business to close for breaches of food safety legislation.

Sweetness Luxury Homemade Desserts was one of 11 businesses ordered to close during the month, which was the highest number of any month this year.

Another business, Addison Lodge in Glasnevin, Dublin, was told to close its doors after dead and live crawling insects including earwigs, woodlice and spiders were found on the premises.

The FSAI said these posed a risk to food safety as insects can transmit disease. Live flies were noted throughout the premises and the windows were left open.

There was also a build up of ingrained grease, dirt, food debris, and dust. Additionally a “foul odour” was noted emanating from the grease trap in the kitchen.

Ireland daycare closes over E. coli outbreak

A community creche in Co Monaghan has been closed over an outbreak of shiga-toxin producing E.coli infection among children and staff.

Ballybay Community Creche was forced to close following the outbreak, to limit the spread of the infection. All children and staff members are due to be screened to see if they have picked up the infection.

E. coli O26 triggers recall of cheese sold in Avoca, Ireland

A notice issued on the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s website read: “Following detection of shiga toxin-producing Eschericia coli O26 in a raw milk cheese, the above batch of Camembert de Normandie cheese is being recalled by La Fromagerie du Plessis.

“A point-of-sale recall notice is displayed in Avoca stores which sold the affected batch advising customers not to eat this batch.”

The affected product is the Camembert de Normandie au lait cru, 250g with approval number FR 14 608 001 CE.

The batch code is 260218DS0 with a use-by date of May 2, 2018.

Inquest told Irish woman died due to Salmonella after Communion function

On May 18, 2017, the first cases of food poisoning were reported to health types in Dublin and soon linked to a northern Dublin food business that had supplied food to numerous family parties the weekend of May 13 and 14, 2017.

25/05/17 Members of the ‘Sloggers to Joggers’ fitness group jog behind the hearse pictured after the funeral of Sandra O’Brien St. Finian’s Church, River Valley, Swords this morning. Sandra Murphy O’Brien, in her 50s, died after she became ill after a Communion celebration at a north Dublin pub….Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

“A Closure Order was served on the food business on Friday 19th May.”

The statement came a week after Sandra O’Brien, who was in her 50s, died from suspected food poisoning at a First Communion party.

The statement continues: “The HSE is aware of more than 50 people (including 4 children) ill from a number of separate groups of family parties supplied by a North Dublin food business on Saturday 13th May and Sunday 14th May.

“To date five people were admitted to hospital and 16 of those ill have been confirmed as Salmonella.”

Now, an inquest has heard the woman died from Salmonella.

Investigations by two separate authorities are ongoing into the salmonella outbreak, the inquest heard.

The Health Service Executive’s Environmental Health Office and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland are preparing files on the incident.

Reports will be filed by both authorities to the Director of Public Prosecution once investigations are complete.

The catering company, Flanreil Food Services, who provided the food served on the day of the First Communion function was represented at the inquest by solicitor Elaine Byrne.

Inspector Oliver Woods applied for a six-month adjournment of the inquest to allow for investigations to continue and the coroner adjourned the inquest until 8 November, 2018.

Rats, Ireland and babies

A crèche in Co Louth has been ordered to close after food safety inspectors discovered a rodent infestation in a pre-school room, baby room and nappy changing area.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has reported that six closure orders and one prohibition order were served on food businesses during the month of March for breaches of food safety legislation.

Among them was Aladdins’ Cave Montessori School and Crèche, Stoney Lane, Ardee, Co Louth. Also in Co Louth, a closure orders were served on Panda House, a take away at 43 Barrack Street in Dundalk.

Hab Foods, trading as Haji Baba, a wholesaler, was ordered to close a black container unit adjacent to its main building in the Cherry Orchard Industrial Estate, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10.

It was also served with a prohibition order and ordered to withdraw all minced lamb, diced beef, diced lamb and diced skinned chicken being supplied from the premises.

FSAI chief executive Dr Pamela Byrne said food business operators in Ireland “should fully understand that it is their legal responsibility to ensure they are maintaining a high standard of food safety throughout their food business. … Non-compliance by food businesses will not be tolerated and all breaches of food safety legislation will be dealt with to the full extent of the law.”

‘Pond of poo’ found in Irish kitchen

Ruairi Byrne of Buzz writes the owner of an Indian takeaway in Donegal has issued an apology to customers after a ‘pond of poo’ was discovered in the restaurant’s kitchen.

Saffron in Creeslough was served a closure order on October 19 by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland following an inspection which found “human excrement overflowing and ponding in an area beside the shed in which the potato peeler was located due to an overflowing manhole”.

“As staff had to stand outside while using this food equipment, they would be standing in the excrement, thereby carrying it into the food premises on their shoes,” the closure order stated.

Dead flies were also found “floating in oil used to baste pizza dough”, according to the closure.

“I would like to say sorry,” Mr Kumar told Independent.ie. “When this happened, me and the manager were out of the country for a few weeks. First of all I was told about that human waste issue.

“By chance, that day, the drain got blocked and it was our bad luck. Now we have sorted this. We stopped making chips there and now we get prepacked chips.

Mr Kumar continued: “We have fulfilled all the requirements of the FSAI now. Last week and this week a health inspector was here. They are now satisfied. I again apologise for what happened and I would like to make sure that it will never happen again.”

Poop and food don’t mix: Irish edition

Niamh Towey of The Irish Times writes that an Indian restaurant in Co Donegal was served a food closure order last month after a pond of human excrement was found in an area where staff were preparing food.

An overflowing manhole had resulted in the pond of human excrement gathering beside a shed where the potato peeler was stored at Saffron restaurant and takeaway in Creeslough.

A report from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland said “human excrement was overflowing and ponding in an area beside the shed in which the potato peeler was located due to an overflowing manhole”.

It goes on to say staff “would be standing in the excrement” while using the potato peeler and thereby “carrying it into the food premises on their shoes”.

The report also found “dirt, mould and encrusted food” on windows, in sinks and on floors and doors throughout the premesis, while “food storage containers in the fridge were covered with black mould”.