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FSAI Recall Celtic Pure Bottled Water Products

We understand that the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) have again issued a recall of Celtic Pure bottled water products, due to microbiological contamination.

The Irish watchdog’s second recall of products comes after batches of Celtic Pure Water were pulled from shelves on Monday last, after they were found to contain Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Enterococci and E. coli bacteria.

Today it was confirmed that further bacteria had been detected in other additional batches. Again, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococci or E. coli bacteria were detected in implicated batches.

It should be noted that Pseudomonas aeruginosa poses a serious risk to people whose immune system has been severely compromised e.g. transplants or chemotherapy patients. The Enterococci and E. coli, contamination indicates that the bottled water has interacted with some faecal material.

The brands in question relate to Celtic Pure Still and Sparkling waters, contained in one-litre; two-litre; five-litre; 19 litre and 500ml containers. Find link to the affected brands and points of purchase HERE.

People who have already purchased the affected product are being advised not to consume same.


Easy & Nutritious Gluten Free Vegetable Soup

The temperate season of Autumn, marking the transition from summer to winter begins officially this month, on September 23rd.

Here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary already the duration of our daylight has become noticeably shorter and our temperatures have cooled down considerably.

With ravenous children returning home, often wet and cold, from schools, and parents similarly returning from their workplace, the time is here once again for that delicious bowl of nourishing, cheery, warming home-made soup.

This delicious gluten free nourishing soup recipe, shown hereunder, serves 8 persons at a cost of less than €0.50c per generous portion.

Note: Forget your sachet packets of powdered Cup-A Soup etc., as all ingredients are available, fresh daily, from Dunnes Stores, in Thurles Shopping Centre.

1 Large Potato.
1 Onion.
1 Leek.
1 Generous Knob of Butter
1 Bunch of Celery
2500 ml vegetable stock (We suggest Knorr’s Gluten Free Vegetable Stock Pot).
1 Head of Broccoli
6 Carrots
[You can of course substitute Broccoli / Carrots etc. with similar amounts of other vegetables. Experiment with your favourite vegetables or whatever fresh vegetables you have left available. You could try adding parsnip, swede, cauliflower, sweetcorn or peas.]

(1) In a large pot, melt the butter on a medium – low heat.
(2) Chop the onion, potato and leek and add them to the pot. Stir around for 1 minute or so, then cover with a lid and allow to sweat for 10 minutes.
(3) Chop up your remaining ingredients.
(4) Prepare your vegetable stock as per instructions.
(5) Then add your remaining ingredients and prepared stock to the pot.
(6) Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce to a medium heat for about 40 minutes or until the vegetables are deemed tender.
(7) Use a stick blender to blitz the soup to a chunky or indeed a smooth consistency. (Whatever is your preference).

On serving, add salt or pepper to taste, or try a little cream.


TD Michael Lowry Calls For Solution To Beef Crisis

Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry pictured here with protesting farmers outside the ABP beef processing plant in Nenagh, North Co.Tipperary.

Independent Tipperary TD Mr Michael Lowry has called on all parties involved in the escalating beef dispute, to find a resolution to this current impasse, which is creating havoc within the entire beef industry.

Taking to Thurles.Info this morning, Mr Lowry stated, “I fail to understand why the recent beef forum did not fully address the central issue; which was and remains the increase in price for beef producers. This ongoing saga is and always was, an issue regarding underpayments to these primary producers”.

It is not sustainable to expect beef producers to continue to operate at a financial loss. It is also unethical to have a small and select group of processors controlling the beef producing industry, while creaming excess profits. There needs and must be, not just fairness, but equity and balance in relation to the distribution of profits within the industry,” continued Mr Lowry.

“I have requested the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Michael Creed, to again intervene in this crisis and to find a more equitable and indeed a final solution to this most contentious of farming issues. There is no doubt that beef producers are currently in a loss-making position and this situation cannot be allowed to continue. This current stance is not sustainable and its continued consequences are causing severe hardship amongst the farming community.” Mr Lowry concluded.

Meanwhile, farmers are maintaining their presence outside of meat plants here in Co. Tipperary, with unofficial protests resuming today at the ABP plants in both Cahir and Nenagh; despite the granting of High Court injunctions yesterday, against those farmers protesting.


FSAI Serve Closure Order On Tipperary Chinese Restaurant

According to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, a Chinese Restaurant in Tipperary was one of eight Closure Orders served on food businesses during the month of July 2019. All orders were for breaches of food safety legislation, pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998 and the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010.

An inspector visiting Tang City, Kickham Street, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary was concerned by several practises within the outlet, including a chicken carcass, ribs and chicken balls, latter found in a thawing-out state in a walk-in freezer unit. The inspector stated in his report that “This unit was not operating correctly and not fit for purpose”.

Some of the reasons for the eight Enforcement Orders in July.

Temperature and cleaning records being filled out in advance with non-factual details; evidence of fly infestation in a kitchen; a lack of evidence of staff having being trained in food safety procedures; a bag of frozen breaded chicken was thawing at room temperature; evidence of a cockroach infestation; a bird observed flying out of a kitchen through the back door; no hot water in the wash hand basin in the food worker sanitary accommodation; cleaning throughout a butchery area on surfaces and equipment was poor.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI has criticised those businesses who are failing to keep accurate records, as well as failing to train staff adequately in food safety procedures.

Dr Byrne stated, “It is extremely disturbing that a food business would fill out their records in advance with completely non-factual information. This behaviour demonstrates a reckless attitude to food safety and a disregard for the health of their customers. During the month of July, food inspectors detected numerous serious breaches of food safety legislation. It is completely unacceptable that workers in some food businesses are unable to demonstrate adequate food hygiene knowledge and skills. Some food businesses are failing to provide high food safety standards in their premises and among their staff. These failures have the potential to cause a serious risk to consumer health, which has been identified in this month’s enforcements. Food businesses must act responsibly to prevent these serious breaches of food legislation.”

Details of the food businesses served with Enforcement Orders are published here on the FSAI’s website. Closure Orders and Improvement Orders will remain listed on the website for a period of three months from the date of when a premises is adjudged to have corrected its food safety issue, with Prohibition Orders being listed for a period of one month.

Others premises served with Closure Orders were in Dublin, Kilkenny, Limerick, Carlow and Kildare.


Arsenic Found Above Prescribed Legal Limit In Bottled Water

Consumers Beware – Danger

Retailers are being requested by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) to remove implicated batches of own brand bottled water from sale and display, in stores and food outlets including Aldi, Applegreen, Broderick, Dunnes Stores, Itica, Lidl, Londis, Mace, Macari, San Marino, Plane and Spar.

Arsenic (chemical symbol As), a heavy metal, has been detected at levels above the prescribed legal limit in several branded ‘still’ and ‘sparkling’ bottled waters. Point-of-sale notices will now be displayed in stores, which were supplied with these implicated batches.

Users are being asked to please refer to the table supplied HERE, for full details of the implicated consignments.

Last week, it was bottled water from Spar and Londis outlets only, that were affected. Arsenic has no smell, taste, or colour when dissolved in water, even in high concentrations, so only laboratory analysis can truly detect its presence and concentration.

Consumers have been strongly advised not to drink bottled water and to seek medical advice immediately if they feel unwell.

Arsenic can enter any water supply from natural deposits in the earth or from industrial and agricultural pollution. It is widely believed that naturally occurring arsenic dissolves out of certain rock formations; particularly when ground water levels drop significantly.

Why is Arsenic, in high levels, is now appearing on our supermarket shelves? We now wait for further clarification and explanation and maybe Irish Water can give us some answers.