The presence of rodent droppings, the infestation of flies and a lack of hygiene were among the reasons 10 food companies submitted closure orders last month by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).
Orders were placed at food operations in Dublin, Meath, Monaghan, Cavan, Clare, Waterford and Laois. Affected businesses can reopen as soon as they are deemed to have met the required health and safety standards.
The Spar store at Summerhill Parade in Dublin 3 was one of those ordered to close in July after inspectors noticed stoves, refrigerators, sinks, worktops and walls in the takeaway area were unclean.
The FSAI said raw meat is stored at ambient temperatures and that there is also a “fly infestation”. The order indicated that the flies were “crawling on the food contact equipment and on the sandwich board.”
Dead flies were also observed on the floor next to the grease trap and in the food preparation sink, the FSAI said.
An order has also been served to close the butcher’s counter at Universal Food Store Limited on Mountmellick Road in Portlaoise. The FSA said the area and some equipment was generally filthy, and there was a problem with flies and fly feces. The closure order was lifted three days after it was issued.
The kitchen at the Burren Atlantic Hotel in Ballyvaughan, Co Clare was also closed, as it was reported that tiny flying insects had appeared in flour barrels and that food had been stored at temperatures that threatened the breeding of pathogens.
She added that surfaces and floors were “covered” in leftovers and leftovers, according to the order, and cooking equipment, refrigerators and freezers were not adequately cleaned.
An order was also issued to close Joud World Food on O’Connell Street in Waterford, but reopened 10 days later. The order to close indicated that there were flies and a large amount of food scraps and rodent droppings around the store. Concerns were also raised about the lack of traceability for meat products, which were unlabeled and had no details of suppliers.
Monto’s restaurant in Kilmessan, Co Meath, has 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 Cafe in Mountnugent, Co Cavan is also closed. The notice stated that the building was in a very unclean condition: “There was black dirt, food residue and grease on the equipment and surfaces.”
Fredi’s Takeaway in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan has also closed but has since reopened.
The closure order indicated that the building was “in a very unclean condition”.
“There was food residue and grease embedded in all equipment and surfaces, including floors and walls,” the order said.
There was also a large hole in the outside wall of the kitchen above the vent pipe. There was no hot water in the staff bathroom sinks and food was stored uncovered.
Other buildings that have closed but have since reopened include The King Pig Food Stall in Crumlin at Dublin 8; Eskimo Pizza and Lamm’s in Deansgrange, Co Dublin and Freddy’s Pizza in Monaghan.
An improvement order has been issued by the FSAI to Rico on Richmond Street in Dublin 2. It concerns cockroach and pest control issues.
FSAI President Dr Pamela Byrne said the number of enforcement orders issued last month was worrying and that the food business must understand the importance of food safety and staff training in the region.
“Close orders are not served for minor infractions. It is clear that some food companies are not complying with the law and are potentially putting the health of their customers at serious risk,” she said.
* This article was modified on August 9, 2021
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