Press Release

International Report ranks Ireland among Top Tier for Food Safety

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has welcomed the news that Ireland has been ranked as joint number 1 with Canada for food safety.

A report published today by the Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for Food in Canada in collaboration with the University of Guelph’s Food Institute ranks Ireland and Canada in joint top place for Food Safety among 16 OECD Countries.

The report measures and ranks Canada’s food safety performance against that of 16 peer OECD countries including Australia, France, Germany, the UK and the USA.

“It’s good to know that our efforts to ensure that public protection and Ireland’s reputation as a producer of high quality and safe foodstuffs is recognised internationally. The work of the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the Food Safety Authority and the HSE’s Environmental Health Service often goes unseen, but it is vital to ensuring that the food we buy and consume is safe,” Minister Varadkar said.

“Next month, new EU regulations on labelling and information will be of further benefit to consumers. New requirements to provide information allergen information on loose foods will provide even greater protection to those who may be allergic to certain foodstuffs.”

The new Report provides an overall world ranking of food safety performance. All of the countries surveyed have very high food safety standards, but Canada and Ireland, in particular, earned excellent grades relative to their peers. The Report’s authors place great emphasis on the need to ensure food safety and the availability of allergen labelling.

“Canada’s excellent grades in most food safety performance metrics were due to its consistently low number of food-borne illness cases and reported recalls, Canada’s new policy on allergen labeling and a greater focus on transparency,” said Dr. Jean-Charles Le Vallée, Senior Research Associate and lead author of the report. “This is good news as public trust for our food safety system is also growing.”

Minister Varadkar said that it is vital that Ireland remains vigilant on food safety.  “This is an area where regulators and industry must continue to work together to ensure the safety of the public and Ireland’s reputation as a producer of safe, high quality foods”, he said.

The Report covered: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the UK and USA.