Irish Seafood Safety Agency Uncovers 18 Potential Food Safety Breaches in 2023

by Ella

Dublin, Ireland – The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA), entrusted with overseeing seafood safety within the Republic of Ireland, has reported 18 potential infractions of food safety regulations during the first half of 2023.

The SFPA’s jurisdiction encompasses the enforcement of food safety regulations throughout the seafood industry, right up to the retail level.


During the initial three months of 2023, the SFPA issued eight enforcement notices against various businesses. Subsequently, in the second quarter, an additional ten notices were served, all in accordance with risk-based official controls.


Between January and March 2023, Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers conducted a total of 87 inspections at a variety of establishments, including land-based facilities, freezer units, and factory vessels. Of the eight enforcement notices issued during this period, seven were compliance notices, and one was a prohibition order.


Paschal Hayes, Executive Chairperson of the SFPA, emphasized the agency’s commitment to safeguarding seafood safety. He stated, “Protecting seafood safety is a central element of our remit as a regulatory authority. Assuring consumer trust in the quality, provenance, and safety of our seafood produce is critical to achieving the collective ambitions of the sector. The low level of non-compliance found illustrates the considerable efforts being made by most seafood businesses to work within the regulations, as well as the robust inspection system in place to assure and, where necessary, to enforce compliance.”


In the following quarter, spanning April to June 2023, the SFPA issued ten enforcement notices, comprising six fixed payment notices, three compliance notices, and one improvement notice.

One notable case in April led to a fine of €4,500 ($4,800) for O Cathain Iasc Teoranta, a company based in Dingle, County Kerry. The company pleaded guilty to multiple violations of food safety laws, including the sale of unsafe bluefin tuna products, non-compliance with food hygiene requirements, and lapses in ensuring the proper temperature control of bluefin tuna products. These infractions were brought to light during an unannounced inspection in March 2021, which also resulted in the confiscation of bluefin tuna products slated for retail distribution.

The SFPA remains steadfast in its commitment to maintaining seafood safety standards and ensuring the adherence of businesses to food safety regulations within the industry.



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