Domestic pets will be allowed to enter pubs as food hygiene regulations dating back to 1950’s which prohibited pet owners from bringing their dogs and cats inside restaurants, cafés and pubs has now been repealed.

Patrons will now be allowed to bring domestic animals into the pub once permission is granted by the food business operator or proprietor. This new legislation will now bring Ireland in line with EU regulations on pets in food-serving.

The repealed regulation has been welcomed by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI). However under Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004, access by domestic animals is prohibited to food premises or parts of food premises where food is prepared, handled or stored, which may be applicable to premises such as kitchens, supermarkets and shops.

Where access is granted, the food business operator must be able to demonstrate that such access will not pose an undue risk of contamination of foodstuffs.

In deciding where and when access may be permitted, the food business operator must identify potential hazards, consider the likelihood and severity of the risks and determine effective controls.

It should be noted that the exception is that food business operators should allow access for:

  • Guide dogs to help people who are vision impaired
  • Assistance dogs for families of children with autism
  • Assistance dogs for adolescents with autism
  • Companion dogs for persons with other disabilities
  • Pups and dogs in training who will go on to qualify as the above categories of dog