Compliance with regulations on hygiene and safety is critical for Ireland’s stream of new food enterprises, the Food Safety Authority (FSAI) of Ireland has warned.
With the number of Irish food businesses now exceeding 46,000, up by 5% since 2008, the FSAI has welcomed the matching rise in queries from new food entrepreneurs regarding regulations. Its advice service for startups has received 1,278 queries during the past 12 months.
FSAI chief executive Professor Alan Reilly said: “There is a definite appetite among people wishing to pursue new food business enterprises. We offer free information for people already established in a food business or for people seeking specific information on how to go about setting up a food business.
“Our advice line has dealt with 1,278 queries in the past 12 months specifically on business start-ups, while over 15,700 unique visitors have accessed the business start-up information that is available on our website.”
To assist those working in small food businesses or those who are thinking of setting up a food business, the FSAI is holding a free ‘Small Food Business Start-Up Seminar’ in January with the aim of making it easier for new food businesses to get up and running and to help them to comply with relevant food safety requirements.
The half-day seminar will bring together expert speakers on everything from registering a new food business, food product development, food safety training requirements, setting up a food safety management system, labelling regulations, traceability, the food recall process, inspections, and the information resources available from the FSAI.
There will also be & question and answer sessions.
Prof Reilly added: “Our aim is to reduce the barriers faced by food businesses seeking to enter the arena and make it easier to comply with all the various requirements and food regulations.
“This seminar is one of a number of supports we provide to food businesses on an ongoing basis, including a free advice line and a dedicated online resource to assist people thinking of setting up a new food outlet or business.”
The FSAI also noted that all food businesses, whether operating from a business premises, in the home or from a mobile unit or food stall, must be aware of the legislation regarding food hygiene and food safety.
Many of the queries to the FSAI’s advice service have come from people wishing to start a food business in their own home.
Ultimately, regardless of whether a food product is made in the home or in a factory, it is the legal responsibility of food businesses to ensure the food they produce and serve to customers is safe, said Prof Reilly.
lThe seminar takes place from 8am-12:30pm on Wednesday, Jan 29, at Chartered Accountants House, 47-49 Pearse St, Dublin 2. For more, log on to www.fsai.ie/events
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