One of the Govinda’s vegetarian restaurants in Dublin was issued with a food safety closure order over fears of a cockroach infestation last month.
The Middle Abbey Street eatery, owned by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, was one of eight premises to be temporarily closed by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) in July.
Reasons for such orders are generally to do with poor hygiene. Last month included a case of a bird flying out of a kitchen when the inspector arrived, chefs wearing dirty clothes, mould growing in a fridge and the dubious treatment of raw meat.
At Govinda’s however, concerns specifically surrounded evidence of a cockroach infestation in the basement and first floor service area.
The inspector noted “an unacceptable risk to human health” because cockroaches can transmit pathogens such as E.coli and Salmonella which can be spread either through direct physical contact or contact with their faeces.
“During my inspection I noted that there were gaps at many of the wall/floor junctions,” the inspector wrote.
“It was particularly evident that the cockroaches that were active behind the chest freezer in the basement were using gap the between the skirting board and the floor for hiding and, possibly to access the structure of the building.”
The closure order served on Govindas, for reasons that also included a lack of cleanliness, was lifted three days later at the end of July.
There were live cockroaches spotted too at the Needs Asian Grocery on the Staplestown Road in Carlow, in a storage area underneath a cold display unit.
In Howth, the Okra Green restaurant near the seafront was shut down after an inspector noted birds feeding outside the kitchen and one flying out of the room. The closure order for the entire premises remains in place.
An inspector visiting Tang City in Nenagh, Co Tipperary was concerned by several meats including chicken carcass, ribs and chicken balls found in a thawing state in a walk-in freezer unit.
“This unit was not operating correctly and not fit for purpose,” the inspector wrote.
Cleaning and sanitation problems were to the fore of numerous problems identified at Fresh Bite in Callan, Co Kilkenny. Refrigerator shelves had mould, toilet bowls in staff and customer facilities were “filthy” and a “foul odour” was noted in the potato peeling area.
The inspection found no separate surface areas provided for the preparation of raw meat, cooked meat and vegetables.
Issues including cleanliness were also behind closure orders at Tasty Bites in Caherconlish, Co Limerick; China Kitchen in Leixlip, Co Kildare; and at Diamond Pizza on the Lower Drumcondra Road in Dublin where the inspector found the premises "in extremely dirty condition throughout without any evidence of cleaning taking place".
The closure orders were lifted in all cases to date except Okra Green and Fresh Bite.