Live rat found in fast food restaurant in south Dublin by inspectors

Food safety officers find rodent droppings in Dublin supermarket

white (albino) laboratory wistar rat on board during experiment

white (albino) laboratory wistar rat on board during experiment

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A live rat in a fast food restaurant in Ranelagh, a mouse infestation in Bunratty and rodent droppings on shelves of a supermarket were among the reasons closure orders were issued by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) in July.

All told the authority issued 13 Closure Orders on food businesses during the month for breaches of food safety legislation.

Roberto’s fast food restaurant in Ranelagh was issued with a closure order after a live rat was seen in a storage area where equipment and food was located. Inspectors said the storage areas had not been properly pest-proofed and it was found that “a grave and immediate danger exists to food safety” existed.

The Bakery at the Bunratty Folk Park in Bunratty, Co Clare was closed after “evidence of an active mouse infestation noted throughout the bakery” was deemed “serious enough to pose a risk of contamination of food stuffs”.

The report also identified “a significant number of mouse droppings” on “shelving, baking equipment, adjacent to and behind free standing equipment” while “points of possible ingress were noted”.

A significant portion of a SuperValu outlet in Walkinstown in Dublin was closed for a period after inspectors noted evidence of rodent activity in the shop floor area including rodent droppings and footprints on shelving.

Other issues identified by health inspectors at other premises included a lack of facilities, equipment, or chemicals provided for cleaning purposes, staff toilets being out of service for long periods, an absence of basic knowledge of food safety management, and kitchens and associated areas found in a filthy condition.

The chief executive of the FSAI Dr Pamela Byrne said the onus was on food businesses to ensure they protect the health of their customers by always strictly following food safety legislative requirements.

“It is somewhat alarming that 15 Enforcement Orders were required to be served on food businesses in the month of July. The legal responsibility for producing food that is safe to eat rests firmly with food businesses,” she said.

“The inspections found that a number of food workers at these businesses did not have even a basic knowledge or training in food safety and hygiene, which is a legal requirement. There is absolutely no excuse for careless practices. Staff must be properly trained in food safety and hygiene and it is also imperative that an effective pest control system is in place.”

She added that the FSAI could not stress enough “the need to ensure fridge temperatures are monitored frequently every day and that special care is taken during the summer months with the warmer temperature outside”.

Four closure orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on the following:

- the Shannon Heritage at Bunratty Folk Park which trades as Bakery, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Bunratty, Clare;

- Retailer Neree Mbala at the Base Enterprise Centre, Damastown Road, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15;

- the deli, fish counter, butchery counter, bakery, salad bar, shop floor hot counter, and the fruit and vegetable area at a Supervalu on Walkinstown Road in Dublin;

- Roberto’s takeaway, Ranelagh (Closed area: food storage and potato peeling area at the rear of the premises)

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