The Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s (FSAI) Advice Line received 3,202 complaints by consumers relating to food, food premises and food labelling in 2016, according to a recent statement.
The overall figure shows an increase of 17% on the year previous, when 2,739 complaints were received. Suspected food poisoning showed an increase of 45% up on 2015, while poor hygiene standards were the second highest reported, with an increase of 34%.
Edel Smyth, Information Manager, FSAI said: “The statistics from our Advice Line service continue to show an upward trend with consumers expressing much more concern and being more conscious about the food they consume and are being increasingly vigilant about food safety issues. There is a culture developing amongst consumers, which indicates zero tolerance towards poor hygiene standards and, in particular, food that is unfit to eat.”
All complaints received by the FSAI were followed up and investigated by enforcement officers throughout the country and Smyth highlighted that 'consumers in Ireland have become more vocal about the standards they expect from food establishments'.
The statement also outlines that the FSAI’s Advice Line also offers advice and information and during 2016, 10,497 queries were received from a wide range of requesters, including consumers; people working in the food service sector; manufacturers; retailers; researchers and consultants.
According to Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI: “Our Advice Line, supported by our comprehensive website and online publication ordering system are important resources for the food industry where our experts are available to assist food business owners and managers to fully understand their legal requirements. We urge food businesses to take full advantage of the information and support provided to ensure they are meeting their food safety legal requirements.”
Reportedly, 39% of queries and complaints lodged to the FSAI Helpline were received by telephone, 52% electronically and the remaining 9% included attendance at events and through it's facebook and Twitter pages.
© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern