Survey finds Irish people unsure how to make food complaint

Many people in Ireland do not know how to make a complaint to authorities about unfit food or poor hygiene practices, according to a survey.

Research commissioned by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) found almost two-thirds of adults are unsure about what to do in such a situation. The poll was carried out by Coyne Research in May with 1,000 people in the country.

FSAI has launched an awareness campaign called “See Something, Say Something” to focus on the consumer’s right to safe food.

Unveiled to mark World Food Safety Day on June 7, the campaign has an online presence and includes videos encouraging people to make a complaint if they experience unsafe food or poor hygiene practices when buying food or eating out.

Complain via FSAI website
The survey also showed differences in generations when it comes to lodging complaints regarding unfit food or poor hygiene practices, with those aged 54 and older the group least likely to have ever done so. When faced with a concern, Millennials, or those aged 23 to 37, are least likely to know how to submit a complaint.

Reporting a concern about a food business or product can be done via the FSAI website by completing an online complaint form.

Pamela Byrne, FSAI chief executive, said food safety is important for those who grow, process, transport, sell, prepare and serve food.

“It is great to see from our research that three quarters of adults are confident with the standard of food safety in Ireland, and almost 2 in 5 are already aware how to make a complaint if they experience unfit food or poor hygiene practices. Our new campaign, See Something, Say Something, empowers the public with the knowledge they need to file a complaint,” she said.

Byrne also reminded businesses seeking to change their processes to increase sustainability about the importance of food safety.

“It’s great to see so many producers and suppliers take steps to become more sustainable, however, this can never be done at the expense of food safety. We urge food businesses to ensure they are meeting their food safety legal requirements and they should also take full advantage of the information and support provided by the FSAI and other authorities,” she said.

Revised hygiene guide for caterers
Meanwhile, an updated guide to good food hygiene practices for firms in the hotel, restaurant and café sector has been unveiled in Luxembourg.

The HORESCA Federation presented the guide, which was first published in 2014, with the Minister for Consumer Protection, Paulette Lenert, to mark World Food Safety Day.

It covers chemical, physical and biological hazards, allergens, staff hygiene, food storage as well as labeling and can be found here (in French).

The update includes new technological and regulatory developments and allows operators of HORECA establishments to adjust their working methods to the current level of knowledge to provide consumers with a high level of protection in terms of food safety.

The Government Commissariat for Quality, Safety and Food Fraud and Ministry for Consumer Protection also held a conference on official controls in the food chain with 250 participants.

Six topics were discussed including animal feed; animal welfare; microbiological safety; food hygiene and novel foods. Presentations can be found by following this link.

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