Date Published: 26 March 2008

Consumers... if in doubt, speak out (safefood, Eire)

Health News from Ireland (Eire)
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Earlier today, safefood launched the second phase of its public awareness campaign designed to educate consumers about their rights with regard to food hygiene standards when eating outside the home and called on consumers to speak out if they are not satisfied.

Endorsed by the National Consumer Agency and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, the “Speak Out” campaign aims to raise the overall standards of food hygiene in food outlets on the island of Ireland.

Speaking earlier today, Mr. Martin Higgins, Chief Executive, safefood, said:

Food safety is a right, not a privilege and consumers should not settle for anything other than the highest standards. Our campaign provides consumers with information on what to watch out for in relation to food safety.”

The second phase of the “Speak Out” campaign focuses on delis and sandwich shops. Research conducted by safefood has revealed that 1 in 3 people on the island of Ireland are concerned about hygiene in sandwich bars. The cleanliness of food premises, the kitchen and the staff topped the list of hygiene aspects causing consumers concern.

More and more food is now consumed outside the home, with delis making up a substantial part of the market. Research has shown that 61% of people purchase lunch outside the home, with 43% of them stating they buy a sandwich?.

We know from recent safefood research that over half of consumers on the island of Ireland? were reluctant to speak out if they were unhappy with food hygiene standards”, continued Mr. Higgins. “In the last six months, we have seen a positive shift in consumers attitudes with more people feeling empowered to speak out if they are not happy6. We would like to see this trend continue, as ultimately, consumer demand for proper hygiene standards will result in improvements”, he added.

Mr Higgins continued, “There are concerns over the increase in Enforcement Orders* served in 2007, which were up 54% on 2006?. The entire catering industry has a responsibility to meet the highest possible food safety and hygiene standards. Consumers can play a part in raising and maintaining these standards by speaking out if they are not satisfied with what they see, or experience, whether that is raw foods being displayed next to ready-to-eat foods, improper temperature control such as hot food not being served hot, or visibly dirty premises”.

This phase of the “Speak Out” campaign will be launched on 24th March for a two week burst on radio and outdoor consisting of posters at bus-stops and other appropriate central locations, across the island of Ireland.

 

Source: safeFood (Ireland).

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