The presence of rodent droppings and fly infestations, along with a lack of cleanliness were among the reasons 10 food companies received shutdown orders last month by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).
Orders were served during food operations in Dublin, Meath, Monaghan, Cavan, Clare, Waterford and Laois. Affected businesses can reopen once they have met the required health and safety standards.
The Spar store on Summerhill Parade in Dublin 3 was one of those ordered to close in July after inspectors noted stoves, refrigerators, sinks, countertops and walls in the area deli meats were dirty.
The FSAI said the raw meat was stored at room temperature and there was also a “fly infestation”. The order stated that flies were “crawling on equipment in contact with food and on the sandwich preparation board.”
Dead flies were also seen on the floor next to the grease trap and in the food preparation sink, the FSAI said.
The Universal Food Store Limited butcher’s counter on Mountmellick Road in Portlaoise has also received an order to close. The FSAI said the area and some equipment was generally dirty and there was a problem with flies and fly droppings. The closing order was lifted three days after it was issued.
The kitchen at the Burren Atlantic Hotel in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare was also closed, with the order indicating that small flying insects were seen in the barrels of flour and that the food was stored at temperatures that risked reproduction of pathogens.
Surfaces and floors were “covered” with food scraps and food debris, depending on the order, and kitchen equipment, refrigerators and freezers were not cleaned adequately, he said.
Joud Food World on O’Connell Street in Waterford also received a closing order, but reopened 10 days later. The shutdown order noted flies, a large amount of food debris and rodent droppings around the store. Concerns were also raised about the lack of traceability with regard to meat products, which were not labeled and did not have details of the supplier.
Monto’s restaurant in Kilmessan, County Meath has been 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 closed.
Riverside Café in Mountnugent, Co Cavan has also been closed. The notice stated that their premises were in a very unclean condition: “There was black dirt, food debris and grease encrusted on the equipment and surfaces.
Fredi’s Takeaway in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan was also closed but has since reopened.
The shutdown order noted that the premises were in a “very unclean condition”.
“There was food debris and grease encrusted on all equipment and surfaces, including floors and walls,” said the order.
There was also a large hole in the outside kitchen wall above the exhaust ventilation duct. There was no hot water in the staff bathroom sinks and food was stored uncovered.
Other premises that have been closed but have since reopened include The King Pig Food Stall at Crumlin in Dublin 8; Eskimo Pizza and Lam’s in Deansgrange, Co Dublin and Fredi’s Pizzeria in the town of Monaghan.
An improvement order was issued by the FSAI to Rico’s on Richmond Street in Dublin 2. The order concerned pest control and cockroach issues.
FSAI Chief Executive Officer Dr Pamela Byrne said the number of enforcement orders issued last month was concerning and food businesses need to understand the importance of food safety and staff training in the region.
“Closure orders are not served for minor infractions. It is clear that some food companies are breaking the law and potentially putting the health of their customers at risk, ”she said.