Food safety watchdog shuts outlets over dead rats and droppings

Pizza takeaway in Rathgar closed due to mice while city restaurant falls foul of rat infestation

Two dead rats were found in a food storage area of a retail unit in Galway’s Westside.  File photograph: Getty

Two dead rats were found in a food storage area of a retail unit in Galway’s Westside. File photograph: Getty

 

Dead rats found in food storage areas, rodent paw prints seen on dusty shelves and rat droppings near food were among the reasons 17 restaurants and other establishments selling food were served with closure orders by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

Inspectors also came across a mincing machine rusted and dirty. They also discovered an absence of staff food-hygiene training records as well as food workers found to be handling raw frozen burger meat and not changing their gloves when dressing cooked burgers.

FSAI inspectors moved against outlets across the country including Dublin,

Monaghan, Meath, Roscommon, Galway and Waterford.

The NKD Pizza takeaway on Orwell Road in Rathgar was closed after evidence of a “mice infestation” was seen by inspectors while the Instanbel Buffet House on Marlborough Street in Dublin was closed after “widespread evidence” of rat infestation, including rat droppings in areas where food was being produced.

The Monaghan bottled water company trading as Celtic Pure was served with closure orders after its product was found to have been contaminated. The Cloncat Service Station in Fordstown, Navan, was also served with an order after the water in the delicatessen area for sanitation purposes and for the washing of salad leaves was found to have a strong smell of petroleum products.

Staff working in the Hot and Tasty food stall in Ballyforan, Co Roscommon, were found to be handling raw and cooked burgers without changing their gloves. The Whole Hoggs food processing plant in Slane, co Meath, was closed for breaches of food safety including the presence of mouse droppings and the use of a rusting mincing machine to process meat products.

Two dead rats were found in a food storage area of a retail unit in Galway’s Westside trading under the name U Pick Store while rodent paw marks on shelves were spotted in the Eurocorner Shop on Broad Street in Waterford.

Food-safety training

Chief executive of the FSAI Dr Pamela Byrne reiterated the need for food businesses to have adequate pest control systems in place. She added that businesses must operate strict food safety procedures at all times and that they need to be extra vigilant during this busy time of year.

“Seventeen Enforcement Orders in one month is the highest in a month to date this year and this is an unacceptable number,” she said.

“As in recent months, a high number of the enforcement orders were associated with issues related to pests and failures in basic staff training. These issues are all preventable and food businesses must ensure that they always adhere to a high standard of food safety and hygiene,” she added.

She stressed the importance of proper pest-control systems to avoid infestations of rodents and insects.

“With the busy Christmas period nearly upon us, food businesses must be especially vigilant to ensure compliance with the law and to protect the health of their customers,” she said. “Special attention should be given to food-safety training for both full and part-time staff to cope with any extra demand.”