A long black hair in garlic sauce and a human nail in a take-away are some of the food finds Irish consumers reported last year.
A cigarette butt in a bag of chips, an unidentified insect and glass in desserts were also on the list.
Plus someone found plastic rope in a takeaway, according to allegations of food contamination made to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.
Rats spotted on food premises, a deli worker sneezing into their hands before making sandwiches, dirty toilets and tables and floors were all on the list of complaints reported to the watchdog in 2016
The FSAI did not release the location of the alleged finds. But the report is enough to put Skinny Chips off eating out for a while and ordering a take-away for the foreseeable future. (well at least a week)
Overall the FSAI Advice Line received 3,202 complaints from consumers relating to food, food premises and food labelling in 2016.
The figure represents a total increase of 17 per cent on 2015 with the number of complaints about food poisoning were up considerably at 45 per cent.
Poor hygiene standards were the second highest reported, with an increase of 34 per cent, as compared with 2015, while complaints about incorrect information on food labelling were up 15 per cent.
The number of complaints about unfit food was up 7 per cent, when compared with 2015.
Consumer complaints ranged from reports of food unfit to eat, to non-display of allergen information:
- 1,126 complaints on unfit food
- 864 complaints on hygiene standards
- 741 complaints on suspect food poisoning
- 221 complaints on incorrect information on food labelling
- 60 complaints on non-display of allergen information
- 190 other
All complaints received by the FSAI were followed up and investigated by enforcement officers throughout the country.
Edel Smyth, Information Manager, FSAI states: “The statistics from our Advice Line service continue to show an up
ward trend with consumers expressing much more concern and being more conscious about the food they consume and are being increasingly vigilant about food safety issues.
“There is a culture developing amongst consumers, which indicates zero tolerance towards poor hygiene standards and, in particular, food that is unfit to eat.
“As consumers in Ireland become more vocal about the standards they expect from food establishments, we are seeing a welcomed increase in the level of complaints we receive directly from consumers. We continue to encourage anyone who has had a bad food safety experience to report the matter to the FSAI so that the issue can be dealt with.”