A campaign to urge all food premises to find out where their food comes from has been launched by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. The FSAI says it wants food premises to buy products only from suppliers who operate to the highest food safety practices.
The authority also published the names of businesses on which closure or other orders had been served during August. They include a number of prominent food and beverage businesses across the Irish Republic.
The objective of the 'know your supplier' campaign is to drive up food safety standards generally throughout the food chain.
"If you don't know where the food comes from, how can you be sure safe practices have been adhered to in its preparation?" said Dr Patrick Wall, the FSAI's chief executive.
"When a food poisoning incident occurs, the business ultimately selling the final product to the consumer may receive the greatest amount of adverse publicity and suffer the greatest commercial damage."
Dr Wall said brand names and reputations take time and resources to build and can be destroyed overnight by a shoddy supplier. "Bargains could prove very expensive in the long term. Whether you are a farmer purchasing animal feed or crop sprays, a cheese-maker purchasing milk, a manufacturer purchasing ingredients, a grocer, a butcher, a hotelier or a restaurateur, your success depends on your suppliers' safety standards."
Closure orders oblige those on whom they are served to immediately close all or part of the food premises, or all or some of its activities.
Prohibition orders prohibit the sale of a product, temporarily or permanently. One such order was issued in August, on Ballyduff Farm, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, prohibiting the use for human consumption of rainbow trout in one of its ponds.
An improvement order can be issued if an improvement notice is not complied with within a defined period. One improvement order was issued in August on a Dublin restaurant.
Since January this year, a total of 19 closure orders, 12 improvement orders and six prohibition orders have been served on food premises.
The orders are listed at www.fsai.ie, the website of the FSAI.