Three food firms ordered to close due to rodent infestations

Iceland store, a Get Fresh canteen and cash and carry outlet shut following inspections

HSE environmental health officers issued three closure orders after rodent infestations were found. Photograph: Getty

HSE environmental health officers issued three closure orders after rodent infestations were found. Photograph: Getty

 

An Iceland store in Gorey Co Wexford, a Get Fresh canteen in Navan Co Meath and an AD Cash and Carry wholesaler in Inchicore in Dublin have been served with closure orders after rodent infestations were found.

The three food businesses were shut after HSE environmental health officers found “inadequate” pest control, including rodent droppings inside crisp packets, in the properties in Wexford, Meath and in Dublin during inspections last month.

Health officers called for the closure of the dining area, a food serving area, a rear wash up/dry goods store and rear food preparation room at Get Fresh catering at Beaufort College, Trim Road, Navan, Co Meath after rodents were found in the unit.

An officer warned in the inspection report of “a current heavy mouse infestation in the canteen” and “a significant amount of fresh mouse droppings” on food equipment, cleaning equipment, food packaging and crockery in the Get Fresh canteen. The report said there was “evidence of gnawing” on food package which was likely to lead to “a grave and immediate danger to public health”.

Closure orders were also served under the Food Safety Authority Act (FSAI) on a branch of the Iceland stores in Gorey Retail part, Courtown Road Co Wexford and on an AD Cash and Carry Wholesaler at St James Industrial Park, Kylemore Way, Inchicore, Dublin 8.

The inspection report into the Iceland Store in Gorey found “prolific evidence of rodent droppings” on and below shelving where foodstuffs, including crisps and biscuits, were kept. The officer also found gnawing on the packaging of “numerous multi-pack packets of crisps” that were on sale in the shop. Rodent droppings were also found within the packaging of multi-packs of crisps as well as within the actual individual packets of crisps.

The Iceland closure order warned that the store’s failure to meet the requisite food safety standards was likely to render the food on sale “unfit for human consumption” and warned that consumption could be extremely dangerous.

The third closure order, which was issued to the AD Cash and Carry in Inchicore, also found a “significant number of rodent droppings” throughout the premises and directly on food packaging.

Dr Pamela Byrne, chief executive of the FSAI, warned that the presence of rodents was unacceptable in any food business at any time and that it posed a serious risk to public health.

“Food businesses need to ensure that their premises has the right food safety management procedures in place to ensure pest control at all times, said Dr Byrne.

“With the busy Christmas season well underway, food businesses must ensure that they can cope with the extra customer demand and must recognise the main food safety risk factors that can cause foodborne illness and are easily preventable. For example: poor hygiene in food premises; inadequate refrigeration; inadequate cooking or re-heating; cross-contamination from raw to cooked food; contaminated raw ingredients; inadequately trained or supervised staff.”