The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has published its Audit of Official Controls carried out by the Health Service Executive (HSE) (Regulation (EC) No 853/2004). The Authority is responsible for the enforcement of all food legislation in Ireland, which is carried out primarily through service contracts with official agencies. The HSE is responsible for official controls in approximately 45,500 food businesses in Ireland. As part of its legal mandate, the FSAI is required to verify that the system of official controls is working effectively.
The Audit of Offical Controls was carried out to assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of official controls conducted by the HSE in establishments which have been approved under Regulation (EC) No 853/2004. At the time of the audit, there were 40 such approved establishments under the supervision of the HSE.
The audit covered the organisation, planning, coordination, implementation and review of official controls at national level. It also covered the service contract between the FSAI and the HSE, the national control plan for Ireland 2012-2016 and the HSE’s own documented procedures.
The audit concluded that the official controls carried out by the Environmental Health Service in approved establishments are structured and well-organised. Non-compliances, which were identified during official control inspections, were promptly communicated to the food business operator and were effectively followed up on subsequent inspections.