10 enforcement notices served on seafood businesses for breaches of food safety laws

Dingle-based O’Cathain Iasc Teo convicted of placing unsafe bluefin tuna on market

A total of 10 enforcement actions were served on seafood businesses during April, May and June of 2023 for suspected breaches of food safety law, according to the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA).

The enforcement actions were issued by the SFPA under the Food Safety Authority of Ireland Act, 1998 and the European Union (Food & Feed Hygiene) Regulations 2020.

However, no closure orders were issued over the period.

The SFPA also confirmed a conviction against O’Cathain Iasc Teo, Dingle, Co Kerry for offences under the European Union (Food and Feed Hygiene) Regulations 2020.


The company was fined a total of €4,500 at the District Court at An Daingean in April 2023.

O’Cathain Iasc Teo pleaded guilty to charges for breaches of food safety law, including the placing of unsafe bluefin tuna product on the market, failure to comply with food hygiene requirements and failures to ensure temperature control of bluefin tuna products.

The case arose following an unannounced inspection of the premises in March 2021, which also resulted in the prevention of the bluefin tuna product being placed for retail.

An SFPA spokesperson said that protecting seafood safety is a central element of their 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,” they said.

“The SFPA, for its part, is committed to developing and supporting a culture of regulatory compliance across the seafood sector.

“The low level of noncompliance 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.”

The SFPA has responsibility for food safety law enforcement across a range of 2,323 food business operators nationally, as the Official Agency with responsibility for the enforcement of food safety law in the seafood sector up to the point of retail.

The assessment of food safety controls across the sea-fisheries and aquaculture sectors are included under this remit.

Ellen O’Donoghue

Ellen O’Donoghue

Ellen O'Donoghue is an Irish Times journalist