UK dog found eating raw meat in illegal Co Armagh meat farm

Pictures of a dog eating raw meatd being prepared for the human food chain in an illegal Co Armagh butchery, have been released by a council.

dog meat farmThe owner of the premises Benard Muchan of Back Road, Mullaghbawn was arrested when police visited the shed in October 2012.

He pleaded guilty to ten offences relating to breaches of food safety regulations and was fined £10,000.

Newry and Mourne Council, which took the case, said conditions in the facility were “filthy.”

Environmental health officers called to scene found several beef carcases hanging in a makeshift butchery and cold room.

The council’s assistant director of environmental health Eoin Devlin said: “The premises, food contact surfaces and equipment were found to be in a filthy condition with decaying food debris and blood.

Juicing firm among 11 businesses hit with closure orders in Ireland last month

A juicing company which supplies fruit and vegetable juices to health-conscious consumers was temporarily closed last month because of food safety concerns.

Pure Green JuicesPure Green Juices, in Dublin 15, was served with a closure order at its processing plant in Millennium Business Park, in Dublin 15, on November 7, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) revealed.

The order was lifted on November 10, allowing normal operations to resume.

Pure Green Juices supplies raw fruit and vegetable drinks to customers who want to “detox” their bodies of impurities.

Its manager, Jimmy Burns, said the order had been imposed because the company was expanding and knocking down a wall.

A food safety compliance officer had arrived when the construction work was beginning and imposed the closure order to prevent any possible contamination of the juices.

In total, 11 businesses received closure orders in November, which are imposed when there is deemed likely to be “a grave and immediate danger to public health at or in the premises.”

FSAI chief executive Professor Alan Reilly warned businesses to be vigilant about safety, especially in the busy Christmas period when they are supplying increased volumes of food.

‘E. coli festering in the microwave’ surprise for four beer and chips-loving Irish students

Conor, Padraig, Brian and Paddy are students at Athlone Institute of Technology, and have been supplementing their studies with a diet of beer and chips while dangerous E. coli festers in their microwave.

Doctor+in+the+House+-+Ep5+(1)The lads, all in their 20s, are blissfully unaware of the dangers of their diet and lifestyle, and the consequences of coming into contact with E. coli.

The doctors, including Dr. Nina Byrnes, Dr. Sinead Beirne and Professor Niall Moyna, learn that Conor has a family history of heart problems and is concerned for his own cardiac health.

Brian is addicted to sugar and video games, Padraig is a man who seems to be a little too fond of his pints, and Paddy is the healthiest in this not so healthy student house.

Apart from their dodgy diet, Dr. Nina Byrnes encounters something a little more disturbing.  She finds E. coli growing in their much-loved microwave and sends the swab to the lab.

“It grew a very heavy growth of bacteria called E. coli,” she says.

“At the very severe end of E. coli, there’s a particular strain of E. coli that can cause kidney failure and death and that was growing in your microwave.

Terrified by the revelation the lads are quick to sign up to an eight week exercise programme and lifestyle overhaul.  But can they ditch their beer-swilling and chip-ingesting ways?

Doctor in the House episode 5 airs Monday 10th November at 9pm on TV3.

‘Breaches completely avoidable’ 15 food businesses closed in Ireland last month

Eight restaurants across the country were hit by closure orders by Ireland’s food safety watchdog last month.

fsaiThe Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) issued the orders to nine food businesses in Dublin and one each in Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Tipperary, Wexford and Roscommon.

Commenting on the high level of orders served in October, Professor Alan Reilly of the FSAI, warns that the legal onus is on food businesses to act responsibly and ensure that the food they serve and sell is safe to eat.

“While most food businesses follow high standards and are compliant with food safety legislation, we continue to encounter cases where consumers’ health is jeopardised through a failure to comply with food safety and hygiene requirements. These breaches are completely avoidable when food businesses have proper food safety management systems in place.”

This is the song that never ends: Regulations for sale of raw milk being considered in Ireland (paid for by taxpayers)

Regulatory standards for the sale of raw milk are being examined by the Irish Department of Agriculture, following years of uncertainty over the sale of the milk, which is not pasteurized.

SB_SongThatNeverEnds-eBookNative.480x480-75The department banned the sale of raw cow’s milk in 1996 over concerns about the health risks but EU hygiene legislation in 2006 legally permitted it.

Once the implications of EU legislation were realised, some farmers began to sell raw milk again but in 2011 the government said it would ban the sale of the milk on the advice of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

However, last year, the Department of Health received legal advice stating it could not introduce secondary legislation under the Health Acts and it told the Department of Agriculture it was a matter for it to decide whether to introduce the primary legislation required.

Asked if it was planning to bring this legislation forward, a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture said the department was “currently assessing the options available to it to counter the risks associated with the sale of unpasteurised milk for direct human consumption”.

He said a particular option being considered was the introduction of specified regulatory standards to apply to the sale of raw milk. He did not give a time frame for the introduction of such standards. The spokesman said unpasteurised milk could contain disease-causing bacteria such as E. coli O157, salmonellosis and brucellosis.

‘Food businesses must recognize legal onus is on them to ensure safe food; 14 enforcement orders served on food businesses in Sept. in Oct.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today reported that twelve Closure Orders and two Prohibition Orders were served on food businesses during the month of September for breaches of food safety legislation, pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998 and the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010. The Orders were issued by environmental health officers in the Health Service Executive.

Kebabish TandooriFive Closure Orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:

Kebabish Tandoori (restaurant), 39 Lower Clanbrassil Street, Dublin 8 

Sami Halal Store (grocery), 63 Upper Clanbrassil Street, Dublin 8 

Asian Foods (grocery), Blackrock Market, 19a Main Street, Blackrock, Co. Dublin

Quinns (public house), 42-44 Drumcondra Road Lower, Drumcondra, Dublin 9

Kilcoran Lodge Hotel (excludes sale and service of beverages at hotel bar), Kilcoran, Cahir, Co. Tipperary

Seven Closure Orders were served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010 on:

KOI (restaurant), Unit 5, 32-36 Main Street, Malahide, Co. Dublin

Slane Bake (bakery), High Street, Slane, Meath

Phoenix House Chinese Takeaway, The Square, Tubbercurry, Sligo

SRM Book and Cook (bakery), Unit 8, Block 3, City North Business Campus, Stamullen, Meath

The Docks Hotel 001 (2)_lJuno’s Café, 26 Parkgate Street, Dublin 8

Docks Hotel (closed: all food operations including bar, nightclub and the service of all food and drinks), 15 Craywell Road, John Street, New Ross, Wexford

Palki Indian Restaurant, Bowgate Court, Bowgate Street, Ballinrobe, Mayo

Two Prohibition Orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on: 

Sami Halal Store (grocery), 63 Upper Clanbrassil Street, Dublin 8 

Quinns (public house), 42-44 Drumcondra Road, Lower Drumcondra, Dublin 9

Also during the month of September, two successful prosecutions were carried out by the Health Service Executive on:

Shangri-La Restaurant, High Road, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Station House Hotel, Lower Main Street, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal

Commenting on the high level of Closure Orders served on food businesses in September, Prof. Alan Reilly, Chief Executive, FSAI, states that food businesses need to be vigilant in relation to food safety at all times to ensure full compliance with food regulations.

“The environmental health officers who inspect these food businesses continue to find unacceptable levels of non-compliance with food safety legislation.  Time and time again, they encounter cases of food businesses that are potentially putting their customers’ health at risk by not complying with their legal obligations for food safety and hygiene. There is absolutely no excuse for negligent practices,” he says.  “Food businesses must recognise that the legal onus is on them to make sure that the food they serve is safe to eat.  This requires ongoing compliance with food safety and hygiene standards to ensure the food they are producing is safe to consume all day and every day. Food safety must be paramount.”

Health risks found in eight Irish food outlets

Supervalu was issued with a prohibition order banning the sale of certain cooked meats and cheeses at one of its Dublin stores last month.

Inspection-Restaurants-Rats-Droppings-CockroachesIt was one of eight food businesses issued with an enforcement action in August, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland said.

The Supervalu store on Main St, Ballymun, Dublin 11 was issued with the prohibition order on August 26 banning the sale of all high risk foods such as cooked meats and cheeses stored in a fridge in its deli area.

Prohibition orders ban the sale of a certain batch of food, if it is believed it could pose a serious risk to public health.

Supervalu’s parent group Musgrave said the prohibition order specifically related to one fridge and was resolved on August 29 when the fridge in question was upgraded.

Seven restaurants and pubs were issued with closure orders during August.

These included Juno’s Café Deli, Parkgate St, Dublin 8; Tasty Bite, Main St, Bantry, Cork; Abbey Tavern, The Square, Tuam, Galway; Akash restaurant, George’s Ave, Blackrock, Co Dublin; Fuchsia House & Gables Bar, Ardee, Co Louth and the food preparation area of The Larches Bar, Claremorris, Co Mayo.

All of these had the orders lifted as soon as the problems were rectified.

Professor Alan Reilly, Chief Executive of the FSAI, stated that “vigilance is always required in relation to food safety and that standards must not be permitted to slip to such levels that consumer health is put at risk.”

E coli cases set to rise as more opt to use well water in Ireland

‘Are ye still using your own well?” At least once a year my sister Rose asks us this question when she visits. As I nod my head in acquiescence, she inevitability shakes hers in disbelief.

well.waterDr Rose FitzGerald is a Specialist in Public Health Medicine with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and she and her colleagues are the ones who deal at a management level with outbreaks of infection such as those which can occur from drinking contaminated well water.

Outside of this glitch in our character Rose would know us as not otherwise unreasonable people but so frustrated has she become by this behaviour of ours and others in drinking untreated well water than she has come up with the following analogy.

“Drinking your own water while giving system water to the cattle is akin to a dairy farmer drinking milk from his bulk tank while feeding pasteurised milk to his calves.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 720,000 people in Ireland, 17pc of the population, concentrated in rural areas, get their water from private wells. But those who contract VTEC infections are more than twice as likely to have drank well water than the population as a whole. Moreover, as Rose points out, investigations regularly find the exact same organism in the well as in the humans who have been sick.

Concern over shellfish safety controls in Ireland

A “significant” number of recommendations involving shellfish food safety controls still have not been fully addressed, more than two years after they were made, a new audit by the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office has found.

Raw oystersThe latest audit on some Irish-produced shellfish, carried out last October, found that the control system in place for the production and placing on the market of bivalve molluscs, which includes blue mussels, pacific oysters, king scallops and razor clams, presented “several deficiencies”.

These were in the classification and monitoring of production areas and in the official control of scallops and gastropods, a category that includes whelks and periwinkles.

Why I don’t eat raw oysters: Norovirus genotypes implicated in two oyster-related illness outbreaks in Ireland

We investigated norovirus (NoV) concentrations and genotypes in oyster and faecal samples associated with two separate oyster-related outbreaks of gastroenteritis in Ireland. Quantitative analysis was performed using real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and phylogenetic analysis was conducted to establish the NoV genotypes present.

Raw oystersFor both outbreaks, the NoV concentration in oysters was >1000 genome copies/g digestive tissue and multiple genotypes were identified. In faecal samples, GII.13 was the only genotype detected for outbreak 1, whereas multiple genotypes were detected in outbreak 2 following the application of cloning procedures. While various genotypes were identified in oyster samples, not all were successful in causing infection in consumers. In outbreak 2 NoV GII.1 was identified in all four faecal samples analysed and NoV GII concentrations in faecal samples were >108 copies/g. This study demonstrates that a range of NoV genotypes can be present in highly contaminated oysters responsible for gastroenteritis outbreaks.

Epidemiology and Infection / Volume 142 / Issue 10 / October 2014, pp 2096-2104