An Indian takeaway in Dublin’s Docklands has been closed after food inspectors found staff wading through sewage on the kitchen floor.
Chaska, which is located in the International Finance Services Centre (IFSC) in Mayor Square, was served with a closure order by the Food Standards Authority of Ireland (FSAI) and deemed a "grave and immediate risk to public health".
On its website Chaska claims to provide some of the “finest takeaways in town”, but inspectors who visited last month found the staff toilet overflowing and sewage on the kitchen floor.
They observed: “There were pools of foul water present on the kitchen floor which appeared to have emanated from the grease tap.
“Food workers were observed walking through the sewage and foul water, spreading it through the kitchen while food was being prepared.
“No hand-wash, food-wash or equipment-wash facilities were available as a result of the blocked drain.
“A direct opportunity for pathogens in sewage and foul water to enter food via food workers – dirty clothing, dirty hands – and via dirty food handling equipment existed.”
The food handlers were not instructed in food hygiene and the chef was unable to correctly take the temperature of the food nor was he aware of the need to cease operations of the kitchen in the absence of washing facilities. Chaska was closed for five days from November 17th to 22nd.
Chaska was one of four restaurants served with closure orders under the terms of the FSAI 1998 Act. All four were in Dublin.
Boba Bar on Parnell Street was closed because inspectors found an “active cockroach infection at all stages of the lifecycle”.
“Live moving cockroaches and dead cockroaches were visible on the floor and beneath food preparation tables and fridges,” inspectors observed. The business was closed on November 9th and reopened on November 23rd.
The Wok in Noodle Bar on Stephen’s Street Lower was closed when inspectors found evidence of rat activity in the food contact materials and equipment store room. There was evidence too of rat droppings in the ventilation ducting and rat teeth marks on the piping insulation in the store room. The premises was shut for a fortnight from November 3rd to 17th.
In the case of the Greenville Deli in Rathmines, inspectors found sandwiches were being made up early in the morning and left unrefrigerated leading to the possibility of contamination. The business was only shut for one day from November 4th to 5th.
Four closure orders were served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020. They were the Navan Soup Kitchen, the Karma restaurant in Balbriggan, Mitchell's Bar in Carrigallen, Co Leitrim, and Healing with Hemp in Clones in Co Monaghan. The closure order for Health with Hemp is under appeal.
During the month of November, two prosecutions were taken by the FSAI in relation to Arrabawn Co-Operative Society Limited, Kilconnell, Ballinasloe, Galway.
The business was fined €40,000 for the possession of altered documents relating to the rest of pasteurised milk. A former quality manager for the company was also convicted and fined €6,500.
FSAI chief executive Dr Pamela Byrne said there needed to be a "zero-tolerance" approach for neglible practices that put consumers' health at risk.
“Food safety is everyone’s responsibility in a food business and not just the business owner. There is a personal responsibility for managers and all employees to comply with food safety law at all times and, in particular, ensure that all information and records provided to inspectors are truthful and accurate,” she said.