Tofu maker gets closure order after rodents found at premises

Six closure orders are served in April by Food Safety Authority of Ireland

Inspectors found ‘extensive’ mice and rat droppings at an organic tofu maker in north Dublin

An organic tofu maker in north Dublin was served with a closure order last month after live rodents were found at its premises.

Natural Green - located in the Stadium Business Park, Ballycoolin, Dublin 15 - was ordered to close on April 12th after inspectors also found “extensive” mice and rat droppings. The order has not been lifted.

The inspectors observed gnawing of food packaging and droppings and hair on food packaging. They also found droppings on food-contact equipment, machinery and food debris.

“This poses a grave and immediate danger to public health as the above conditions may cause a serious risk of contamination with pathogenic bacteria and foreign matter such as rodent droppings,” the inspection report said.


“The presence of live rodents were noted in the immediate environs to the front and rear of the premises.”

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) said six closure orders were served in April. Two of those are under appeal.

Closure orders were also issued on a food business at the Demesne, Shrule, Co Mayo; the kitchen and food preparation area of Bentleys Hotel in Kilkenny; a slaughterhouse and cutting plant in Corcreaghy, Co Louth (under appeal); and Keyaki Japanese restaurant in Ennis, Co Clare.

Orders issued on Bentleys Hotel and Keyaki Japanese have since been lifted.

Inspectors at Keyaki Japanese restaurant said food was not stored in a safe and hygienic manner in its coldroom.

“A cardboard box, containing defrosting chicken, was stored on the floor of the coldroom, resulting in blood leaching onto the coldroom floor,” the inspection report said.

It also said boiled rice was being cooked and cooled on a table in the wash up area.

“There was no evidence available to show that the rice was being cooled as quickly as possible. Rice which is not cooled and reheated at the correct temperature can result in the growth and survival of pathogenic bacteria, which have the potential to cause illness,” it said.

Inspectors at Bentleys Hotel said wall surfaces in the cooking and food preparation areas were unclean with evidence of mould growth.

They also said blood was dripping from raw meat stored in a standalone fridge onto the floor.

FSAI chief executive Dr Pamela Byrne said: “If it if a food business handling and/or processing foods of animal origin, it is illegal to operate without approval by the relevant authority before commencing trade. Working in partnership with the food safety inspectors, we have zero tolerance for those not operating legally,” Dr Byrne said.

“It is a legal requirement for all food businesses to have their premises kept clean and pest proofed; however each month, inspectors are finding recurring incidents of filthy premises and rodent infestations.

“Each individual food business must take responsibility and commit to ensuring high food safety standards and compliance with the lawm,” she said.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times