A market stall that displayed its cakes for the Queen of England during her historic Irish visit was one of seven food businesses to receive closure orders from food safety officials last month.
Heaven’s Cakes, which operates in Cork’s famed English Market – a focal point of Queen Elizabeth’s trip in 2011 – was handed the order on July 14th, although it was lifted two days later. The stall was among those visited by the queen in Cork.
The exact reason for the order, which was made under EU regulations, is not clear, but it was subsequently lifted and the premises did not close.
Other businesses to receive closure orders last month were Sur La Mer restaurant in Rosslare Strand, Co Wexford; Monsoon Valley restaurant, Bundoran, Co Donegal, the Swiss Cottage Kitchen, Santry, Dublin; Golden Dragon Chinese restaurant in Dundalk, Co Louth; Ruposhi Indian Restaurant in Whitworth Road, Dublin 9 and the Coachman's Tearooms in Dundalk, Co Louth. All of these establishments had their orders lifted after a follow-up inspection days later.
The orders were served by environmental health officers at the Health Service Executive (HSE) and reported, as standard, by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).
There were also three successful prosecutions brought by the HSE, against the Omniplex Cinema in Drinagh, Wexford (Cameo Cinema Ltd); the Indian Taste takeaway on the Ballybough Road in Dublin and the House Pizza takeaway in Thomondgate, Limerick.
The Omniplex Cinema was prosecuted for offences under hygiene laws in 2013 and pleaded guilty, incurring a €1,000 fine plus costs.
Indian Taste was fined €500 for hygiene offences and the House Pizza fined €15 with additional costs for an unspecified offence.
FSAI chief executive Professor Alan Reilly said vigilance was always required in relation to food safety and there was a legal onus on business owners to live up to regulations.
“Each closure order undermines consumer confidence in food safety which not only affects the food business involved but the industry as a whole,” he said.
“While most food businesses are committed to high standards for the health of their customers, this is not always the case. We’re urging food businesses to make sure that they have a food safety management system in place and that it is consulted on a regular basis and updated.”
Under the FSAI Act, a closure order is served where there is, or is likely to be, a “grave and immediate danger to public health at or in the premises”.