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The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) have reported that 10 Enforcements have been served on Seafood businesses during the final quarter of 2022 for breaches of food safety legislation pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998 and the European Union (Food & Feed Hygiene) Regulations 2020.  The Enforcements were issued by Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers during risk based official controls.  No closure orders were issued over this period.

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority is the Official Agency with responsibility for the enforcement of food law in the Seafood Sector up to the point of retail. Included under this remit is the assessment of food safety controls across the marine and aquaculture sectors.  The SFPA has responsibility for the enforcement across a range of 2,711 business operations nationally (Annual Report 2021).

Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers carried out 60 inspections in Q4 2022 in land-based establishments undertaking activities that require approval under Regulation 853/2004 on specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin based on the risk associated with the establishment and the processes undertaken within the establishment.

The SFPA have also confirmed a successful food safety prosecution in the case of SFPA v. Castletownbere Fishermen’s Co-op Society Ltd.  The Defendant entered guilty pleas to food safety legislation offences, arising from an inspection conducted on 18th of October 2021, relating to the condition of parts of the food premises, failure to ensure pest control and protection against contamination, and failure to comply with procedures on traceability of raw fishery products. The Defendant was fined €2,000 and an order relating to costs was made in favour of the SFPA.

Commenting on the quarterly figures, SFPA Executive Chairperson Paschal Hayes said; “Protecting Seafood Safety is a central element of our remit as an Authority.  Assuring consumer trust in the quality, provenance, and safety of our seafood produce, is critical to achieving the collective ambitions for the sector. The SFPA, for its part, is committed to developing and supporting a culture of regulatory compliance across the seafood sector.  The low level of non-compliance found illustrates the considerable efforts being made by seafood businesses to work within the regulations, as well as the robust inspection system in place to assure and, where necessary, to enforce compliance.”



Note to Editor:

During Q4 2022, there were 10 enforcement notices served by SFPA inspectorate as follows:

  • 7 Compliance Notices under S.I. 22/2020 – European Union (Food and Feed Hygiene) Regulations 2020
  • 2 Improvement Notices under the Food Safety Authority of Ireland Act 1998
  • 1 Fixed Payment Notice under S.I. 22/2020 – European Union (Food and Feed Hygiene) Regulations 2020