The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has confirmed 124 enforcement orders were served on food businesses for breaches in food safety legislation last year.
The figure represents an increase of 13% compared to 2018.
Last month, six closure orders were served on food businesses for breaches of food safety legislation.
A suspected pool of blood appeared to be present in a goods storage unit, with a foul smell coming from the area, in an Indian restaurant in Sundays Well, Cork; evidence of a rodent infestation was found in a Circle K Service Station in Dublin; and a live rodent was seen within a cavity wall of a storage room in a restaurant on Parliament St in Dublin.
"It is highly disconcerting that some food business owners are still failing to comply with food safety standards and their legal obligations that have been set to ensure the safety of their customers," said Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of the FSAI.
"Even though they are in the minority, there is no excuse for any food business to remain unaware of the correct food handling and storage procedures which could prevent pest infestations or prevent bacterial growth.
Between January 1 and December 31 last year, food inspectors served 107 closure orders, four improvement orders and 13 prohibition orders on food businesses throughout the country.
Dr Byrne stressed the serious nature of a food business being served an enforcement order.
"Enforcements, especially closure orders and prohibition orders, are never served for minor food safety breaches," she said.
"They are served on food businesses only when a serious risk to consumer health has been identified or where there are a number of ongoing breaches of food legislation that could cause serious hygiene or other operational issues. There is no excuse for careless food safety practices.
It is disappointing to see an increase in enforcement orders for the second consecutive year and businesses should take action to prevent the trend continuing into 2020."
Details of the food businesses served with enforcement orders are published on the FSAI’s website.