Publicans have slammed as ‘bureaucracy gone mad’ newly released guidelines from Fáilte Ireland, requiring restaurants and pubs serving food to record all individual food orders and to keep that data for 28 days.

Statutory Instrument (SI 326) is a temporary restriction introduced by the Government on 3rd September. The SI also includes confirmation that a closing time of 11.30pm applies to pubs serving food, and that pubs, restaurants and cafés serving food must ensure no more than six people from a maximum of three households are at one table.

Padraig Cribben, VFI Chief Executive, said: “This is crazy stuff. The idea that a pub must record all food ordered by each customer and then store it for 28 days is bureaucracy gone mad. Not only is it too impractical for our members to implement but why does the Government think this law will help in the fight against Covid? It’s madness.

“We’re all for making customers feel safe in our pubs but this new measure only increases pressure on staff already coping with a host of new safety measures.

“This is part of a Statutory Instrument introduced by the Minister for Health Simon Donnelly without any consultation with the hospitality sector. It is obvious that both the Minister and his department have little understanding of the practical implications of this new law.”

A spokesperson for the Licensed Vintners’ Association (LVA) said: “How is it going to help protect public health knowing what topping was on a customer’s pizza or what way their potatoes were cooked? We think this is a complete overreach.

“Given the data collection requirements this will place on the industry, we have asked the Data Protection Commission for their views on this new measure.”

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