Dublin, June 15, 2023 – The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has taken action against Iceland Ireland, directing the immediate withdrawal of imported frozen food of animal origin. The notice, issued to Metron Stores Ltd, pertains to products imported into the Republic of Ireland since March 3. Additionally, the FSAI has instructed the company to initiate a recall of the affected products, advising consumers against consuming any implicated food items.
The FSAI’s intervention is based on identified breaches of food legislation and an ongoing investigation. Inadequate evidence of traceability of imported frozen food from the retailer prompted the authority’s action. According to the FSAI, “Some frozen food of animal origin has been imported into Ireland without pre-notification and completion of entry declarations and health certificates since March 3, 2023.” Collaborating in the investigation are the Environmental Health Service of the Health Service Executive, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), and the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority.
Food shipments seized at Dublin Port have either been returned to the United Kingdom or destroyed as per the notice issued by the FSAI. The affected products primarily include foods of animal origin, encompassing ingredients derived from animals such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products.
Dr. Byrne, a representative from the FSAI, confirmed that no reports of illness associated with implicated products from Iceland Ireland stores have been received thus far. However, as a precautionary measure, the authority urges consumers to refrain from consuming the affected food items. Dr. Byrne emphasized the importance of complete traceability information for all food businesses involved in importing, producing, distributing, and selling food, adding that the action taken by the FSAI is a response to the breaches of food legislation in order to protect consumers.
In light of the ongoing investigation, the FSAI has notified the European Commission, the Food Standards Agency UK, the Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland, and Food Standards Scotland. It is important to note that Iceland’s operations in the Republic of Ireland have been under local management as a franchise since March. The email response from the Republic of Ireland business clarified that the stores in the Republic of Ireland are now 100% Irish owned and managed. Meanwhile, Iceland stores in Northern Ireland continue to be directly owned and operated.
The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) acknowledged the announcement and investigation by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Anjali Juneja, a spokesperson for the FSA, stated that based on the assurances received from Iceland Foods UK, a separate entity from the one operating in Ireland, there is no evidence suggesting that the issue affects Iceland stores across the UK. The FSA affirms that there is no evidence of unsafe food being placed on the UK market.