Chef Dylan McGrath’s Rustic Stone restaurant in Dublin was issued a brief closure order after rodent droppings were found during a health inspection.
A Health Service Executive inspection report published on Monday, said the conditions threatened serious food contamination. According to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), a closure order was served on the well-known George’s Street premises on September 15th and lifted the following day. The report noted a loose wooden covering over a gap in a cavity wall directly behind cooking appliances and near a dry store.
“There were rodent droppings noted within this cavity wall and in the dry store,” it said.
“Rodent droppings were also noted in [an] under stairs structure ... this structure was open and leading directly to the kitchen.”
The report noted that such conditions created the risk of food being contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, rendering it unfit for consumption.
Closure orders are served when the existence or potential for “grave and immediate danger to public health” is identified by inspectors, or when improvement orders are not complied with. They can refer to the immediate closure of all or part of the food premises, or all or some of its activities.
Owned by Prime Steak Ltd, Rustic Stone describes itself as a food experience by Dylan McGrath influenced by Japan, Spain and South Africa. Last August, Prime Steak was one of two companies co-owed by Mr McGrath reported as seeking to restructure debts. The company had Neil Hughes, a partner and insolvency expert at Baker Tilly, appointed as process adviser on August 5th under the Small Companies Administration Process (Scarp).
The closure order was one of seven during September reported by the FSAI. The other food establishments included, in Dublin, Bow Lane restaurant on Aungier Street and Lee Kee Chinese restaurant on Parnell Street.
The Ocean Palace takeaway, at the Blackcastle Shopping Centre in Navan, Co Meath; Homesavers at the City East Retail Park in Ballysimon, Limerick; Swift Fine Foods at the Cooltrimegish Business Park, in Laragh, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan; and King Pizza takeaway in Knocknagree, Co Cork were also served.
Rodent droppings were found in several areas of the Bow Lane restaurant. The Lee Kee, which had no cold water supply in its kitchen or staff bathroom, was found to be in a “very unclean condition” with food debris and grease embedded on equipment and surfaces including the floor and walls.
Unsanitary conditions found at the Ocean Palace takeaway, gave rise to “a serious risk of food contamination which could result in food borne illness”, while staff hygiene was also criticised.
Mouse droppings were found at the Homesavers premises and the inspection report noted that access to pest control records was denied by management.
At Swift Fine Foods, dead mice, flies and droppings were found. There was evidence that lasagne sheets had been interfered with by rodents.
A “very large fly infestation” was found at King Pizza, “and flies were observed crawling on food, food surfaces and food related equipment.”