A factory canteen operated independently by a catering company in Co Cork was forced to close last month after a dead mouse was found underneath a freezer in a food preparation area, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has said.
A closure order was issued on the canteen at ABP Food Group in Bandon, which was operated by KC Catering, on May 26th and was lifted the following day.
An inspection report said a dead mouse was noted underneath the chest freezer in the food preparation area while another dead mouse was found underneath a freezer in the store room next to the kitchen.
“Rodent droppings were noted in a black container in the food preparation area which stored food contact equipment,” it added.
“Rodent droppings were noted on a low-level shelf in the food preparation area.”
The inspector said due to the pest activity, there was a “grave and immediate danger to public health”.
Closure orders were also served on Ken's Oriental Restaurant in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, and Your Stop NR retailer in Farranree, Co Cork, by the FSAI last month. Both orders have since been lifted.
Evidence of rodent droppings was found at Your Stop NR retailer in the dry goods store as well as “evidence of rodent interference” with bags of pasta.
Inspectors found the food premises at Ken’s Oriental Restaurant “was not maintained in a clean and hygienic condition”.
“Part of the floor surface was missing/damaged and not capable of being effectively cleaned,” they added.
Dr Pamela Byrne, chief executive of the FSAI, said food inspectors continue to find "unacceptable levels of non-compliance" with food safety legislation in some food businesses.
“It is a legal requirement for all food businesses to have their premises protected against pests and kept clean. However, time after time inspectors are finding regular incidents of rodent infestations and filthy premises highlighting a disregard for basic food safety management,” Dr Byrne said.
"Consumers have a right to safe food and we would urge anyone who is concerned or suspect there is unusual activity being demonstrated by a food business, that they can contact us via our online complaint form at fsai.ie and we will investigate."