Fish produce at Limerick processor posed 'serious risk to health'

Prohibition Order was served on Rene Cusack LTD

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Fish produce at Limerick processor posed 'serious risk to health'

The order was served on Rene Cusack ltd

A LIMERICK-based fish processor was ordered to destroy more than 280kgs of fishery products after concerns were expressed that activities at its processing and packaging facility were likely to create “a serious risk to public health”, it can be revealed

While the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) previously confirmed that a Prohibition Order was served on Rene Cusack ltd on March 3 last, no reasons for the order were disclosed.

While the order, under the provisions of the FSAI Act 1998, was formally lifted on March 15, details remained on the FSAI website for a month as is required by law.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that the Prohibition Order was served following an inspection of the premises by an authorised officer with the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA).

In the order, which was served on Paul Cusack (managing director of Rene Cusack ltd), the officer states that a variety of fishery products “be withdrawn from sale or distribution” immediately and that they be “destroyed as category three animal by product”.

The order also required that full details be provided in writing to the SFPA relating to the destruction of the fishery production.

The reasons for the order include: “Frozen fishery products being stored in excess of the ‘Best Before’ date”, “Chillled storage of fishery products at an advanced stage of decomposition rendering them unsuitable for human consumption” and the “thawing of fishery products at ambient temperatures”.

The officer also cited concerns that there was a potential for contamination between fishery products at the facility.

According the documents, the fishery products which were withdrawn from sale and destroyed included 160kgs of frozen Cod, 34.2kgs of smoked Salmon, 8.66kgs of Red Snapper, 6.3kgs of Yellowfin Tuna and 5.28kgs of Seas Bass fillets.

Other products specified in Prohibition Order included quantities of Swordfish, Mackerel, Scallops, Sardines, smoked Coley and loose Prawns.

The FSAI has confirmed the order was lifted almost two weeks after it was served with an authorised officer stating the matters specified in the order “have been remedied and the actions therin regarding the food had been completed to my satisfaction.”

Details of the Order have now been removed from the FSAI website.