The presence of rodent droppings and fly infestations, and a lack of cleanliness were among the reasons for 10 food businesses being served with closure orders last month by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).
The orders were served on food operations in Dublin, Meath, Monaghan, Cavan, Clare, Waterford and Laois. Affected businesses can reopen once they are seen to have met the required health and safety standards.
The Spar store on Summerhill Parade in Dublin 3 was one of those served a closure order in July after inspectors noted that cookers, fridges, sinks, worktops and walls in the deli area were unclean.
The FSAI said raw meat was being stored at ambient temperatures and that there was also a “fly infestation”. The order noted that flies were “crawling on food contact equipment and on the sandwich preparation board”.
Dead flies were also noted on the floor beside the grease trap and in the food preparation sink, the FSAI said.
The butcher’s counter in Universal Food Store Limited on the Mountmellick Road in Portlaoise was also served with a closure order. The FSAI said the area and some equipment was generally dirty, and there was an issue with flies and fly excrement. The closure order was lifted three days after it was issued.
The kitchen in the Burren Atlantic Hotel in Ballyvaughan, Co Clare was also closed, with the order saying small flying insects were seen in the flour drums and that food was stored at temperatures which risked pathogens reproducing.
Surface areas and the floor were “covered” in food scraps and food debris, according to the order, and cooking equipment, fridges and freezers were not cleaned adequately, it said.
Joud World Food on O’Connell Street in Waterford was also issued with a closure order, but reopened 10 days later. The closure order noted flies, a large amount of food debris and rodent droppings around the shop. There were also concerns raised about a lack of traceability with regard to meat products, which were unlabelled and had no supplier details.
Monto’s Restaurant in Kilmessan, Co Meath, was closed due to the presence of rodent droppings. There was also a lack of information on how food was stored and prepared. The restaurant reopened a week after it was closed.
Riverside Café at Mountnugent, Co Cavan was also closed. Its notice said the premises was in a very unclean condition: “There was black dirt, food debris and grease embedded on equipment and surfaces.”
Fredi’s Takeaway in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan was also closed but has since reopened.
The closure order noted that the premises was in a “very unclean condition”.
“There was food debris and grease embedded on all equipment and surfaces including the floors and walls,” the order said.
There was also a large hole in the external wall of the kitchen above the extraction ventilation duct. There was no hot water in the staff bathroom sinks and food was stored uncovered.
Other premises which were closed but have since reopened include The King Pig Food Stall in Crumlin in Dublin 8; Eskimo Pizza and Lam’s in Deansgrange, Co Dublin and Fredi’s Pizzeria in Monaghan town.
An improvement order was issued by the FSAI to Rico’s on Richmond Street in Dublin 2. The order related to issues with pest control and cockroaches.
FSAI chief executive Dr Pamela Byrne said the number of enforcement orders issued last month was concerning and that food business must understand the importance of food safety and staff training in the area.
“Closure Orders are not served for minor breaches. It is clear that some food businesses are not complying with the law and are potentially putting their customer’s health at serious risk,” she said.
*This article was amended on August 9th, 2021