The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) do trojan work in the whole area of food safety.
Last week it announced details of communications received on their advice line in 2009. In total 9,444 communications were received, of which 1,981 (21%) were complaints from consumers.
The 1,981 complaints were broken down into:
858 (43%) complaints on unfit food
363 (18%) complaints on suspect food poisoning
408 (21%) complaints on hygiene standards
112 (6%) complaints on incorrect information on food labelling
20 (1%) complaints on incorrect advertising of food products
220 (11%) other
Consumer awareness of food hygiene and safety issues is evident in my opinion from the fact that 38 people on average contacted the FSAI each week with complaints. However we must remember that this only reflects the number of consumers who actually took the time to make contact with the FSAI – most likely only a fraction of the number of consumers who encountered problems.
Foreign objects that contaminated food included insects, hair, pieces of skin, glass and rodent droppings. Complaints about poor hygiene standards related to food handling staff not washing their hands, touching their face and then handling food and handling raw and cooked food with the same kitchen utensils.
44% of communications received by the advice line were from the food industry. The main requests were for publications, advice on food labelling, food safety training information and information on how to set up a new food business.
We here at SQT also do a lot of training in the area of food safety. In total we have twelve courses in this area including:
Food Safety Auditing
HACCP Development, Implementation & Verification
Food Allergen Control
Global Standard for Food Safety BRC Issue 5
Instructor Skills for the Food Industry
Introduction to Food Legislation
A number of these courses are FETAC accredited.
Full information on the courses listed is available by clicking on the above links or here for our full range of food safety courses.
Full details of FSAI announcement is here.