People may now be able to bring their pets into supermarkets and cafés.

A rule from the 1950s regarding domestic animals (dogs and cats) in food premises has been repealed.

The Food Safety Authority says that the decision to allow pets into a food business is at the operator’s discretion.

If the business owner allows customers to bring their furry friends inside, they must demonstrate that it will not clash with cleanliness standards.

In a statement, the FSAI says: “Where allowed by law, the decision to permit access to animals ultimately rests with the food business operator. Where access is granted, however, 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.