Dublin shop and restaurant closed due to rat and cockroach infestations
Rat droppings, live cockroaches and mice discovered by FSAI last month
Live nymph and adult cockroaches were found along with cockroach egg casings and cockroach excrement
A Spar shop on Upper Baggot Street was closed due to a “significant rodent infestation” and a restaurant in Blackrock closed because of a cockroach infestation in the kitchen last month.
The breaches are detailed in the latest list of closure orders issued by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) over the month of September.
Overall, six closure orders were issued under the FSAI Act 1998, while four were served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations 2010.
Among the most startling finds were evidence of rat droppings on the shop floor of Spar on 23 Upper Baggot St, which was forced to close for a day in late September due to the discovery of a rodent infestation.
Inspectors found a “significant number of rat droppings” in the shop’s basement, along with some on the shop floor.
This posed a risk of contamination to foodstuffs, they said, while pest-proofing issues existed “throughout the premises”.
The Akash restaurant in Blackrock, south Dublin, which describes itself as a “fine Indian dining” establishment, was closed for a period of almost two weeks between late September and early October after inspectors encountered evidence of “an extensive infestation of cockroaches throughout the kitchen”.
Live nymph and adult cockroaches were found along with cockroach egg casings, while cockroach excrement was evident around a wash hand basin as well as behind fridges.
It was noted that “cockroaches pose a grave and immediate danger as they can move from areas of filth and dirt to food contact areas and food itself, potentially transmitting food poisoning bacteria”.
The bakery storeroom of Glebe Gardens and Café in Baltimore, Co Cork was also closed due to the presence of mice in the bakery storeroom.
It was pointed out that mice can carry harmful pathogenic bacteria which presents a serious risk to public health.
A rodent infestation was also the issue for the Larry’s of Marino Fair butcher shop, where inspectors discovered evidence of “rodent access and harbouring” in a food storage room.
Possible nesting grounds were also observed in the room which was described as “structurally unsound” and “filthy”.
Other premises closed included: Caspian Pizza in Co Donegal; Alfredo’s takeaway and Corrib Catering in Galway; Chen’s Oriental Taste in Westmeath as well as The Village Store/Kelly’s Last Chance Bar in Nenagh.
The HSE also carried out a successful prosecution against the Beachcomber Bar in Rathmullan, Co Donegal last month due to food safety breaches.
Commenting on new reporting mechanisms which allow it to go into more detail on reasons for issuing closure orders, FSAI chief executive Dr Pamela Byrne said:
“Our systems and processes now enable us to provide additional information which is in line with our objective to increase transparency as a regulator and to raise food safety and hygiene standards in food businesses.
She continued: “Enforcement orders are served on food businesses only when a serious risk to consumer health has been established or where there are a number of ongoing serious breaches of food legislation.
“We believe this initiative will help to dispel any misinformation regarding the reasons why enforcement orders are served and will also let other food businesses know some of the things to avoid in their premises.”
Among the facilities served with a closure order was Harry’s Bar and Restaurant in Bridgend, Co Donegal. The premises had been run as a critically-acclaimed restaurant for 26 years until earlier this summer.
In July, Donal Doherty of the Harry’s group told The Irish Times the restaurant was closing because of rising costs, drink driving laws and uncertainty surrounding Brexit. He said restaurant kitchen would remain open as the “central production point for our new Harry’s in Derry and our Harry’s Shack on Portstewart Strand”. The bar has been leased out and the closure order did not affect it.
At the time of the inspection, the kitchen was being used as a food manufacturing facility. The order, for failure to comply with nine food safety regulations, was served on Mr Doherty on September 21st and lifted on October 2nd.
The breaches included a failure to keep the premises clean and in good repair with the report noting cracked and broken wall tiles in the kitchen as well as the floor around the drain being “cracked broken and encrusted with grease.”
The order noted that the carpet floor covering in the former dining areas was filthy and that there was a “foul odour evident in several areas of the kitchen”.
Some of the out-of-date food found included cooked bacon pieces, beef fat, raw chicken legs, and mackerel. The report also noted that flies were evident in the kitchen.
Mr Doherty said: “There’s legislation that covers restaurant kitchens and then there’s legislation that covers production and industrial kitchens.
“Because our restaurant closed, we still used it to do some preparation work for our Derry restaurant but because the guidelines changed, as in we weren’t a restaurant kitchen anymore, we’re an industrial kitchen we come under different legislation and on that basis our kitchen didn’t meet approval from the HSA.
“So in the short term, we fixed everything that they wanted us to fix and they lifted the order. But for us to use kitchen in the long-term, they basically want us to build a new kitchen.”