- 41% unfit food
- 19% suspected food poisoning
- 20% hygiene standards
- 7% on incorrect information on food labelling
- 11% other
Of course the data are much less interesting than the anecdotes "meat inside chocolate yoghurt; a dirty finger nail in baby food; a chicken’s head in frozen chicken wings; a screw in a pasta dish; glass in a ready meal; live insects in a packet of dates; and a human tooth in a Chinese takeaway". If that's the worst that we have experienced in the whole country over the whole year, I'm not in the least bit worried. It's a bit like those lists of things turned into lost property from trains - wooden legs, glass eyes, hundreds of unbrellas and a disconcerting number of false teeth.
On Newstalk-FM on Thursday morning, the spokesperson from the FSAI welcomed the increase in numbers as showing that The Public were more interested and concerned about food-safety. But they would say that wouldn't they? The help line 1890 336677 is manned 9-5 by trained advisors and food scientists (so a minimum of two of each?) who are fielding 60% of the 13,269 calls. The maths suggests about 4 calls per hour (one each) over the 1800 hour working year. Plenty of time for coffee, so. According to the spokesperson on the wireless , the FSAI don't actually deal with the complaints but rather relay them to Environmental Health Officers EHOs employed by the Health Service Executive HSE. If you wish to make a complaint about this or the mouse you found last night in your curried chips try http://www.fsai.ie/makeitbetter/. If you're unemployed and fancy getting paid for doing this interesting if intermittent line of work, I'm sorry that http://www.fsai.ie/about_us/careers_listing.html says "There are currently no Vacancies".