6 Irish restaurants have been slapped with closure orders over breaches of food safety legislation, according to Food Safety Authority Ireland (FSAI) in the month of March.
Rat droppings, rubbish bags and slugs were among some of the discoveries that led to the closure of six businesses in Ireland pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998 and the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010.
These restaurants were:
- Taka Ra, 37 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin1
- The Old Punch Bowl (Closed area: kitchen and food storage area on first floor only, bars not affected), 116 Rock Road, Booterstown, Co Dublin
- Cuppa City Coffee, 3 Roger Casement Square, Cobh, Cork
- Xian Street Food (Closed area: satellite kitchen at 8 Quay Street. There is no part of the premises at 9 Quay Street Galway closed), 9 Quay Street, Galway
- Victoria Asian Cuisine, 5a The Crescent, Monkstown, Co Dublin
- Gourmet Tart Company, Unit 1, Block 13, Ballybane Industrial Estate, Tuam Road, Galway
The presence of rat droppings in the dry food store and in freezers in these now closed restaurants was one of the biggest issues during this surge of closures in March. Other finding such as a build up of rubbish bags, food waste and sightings of 'rodent activity' resulted in the mentioned businesses to be closed.
A slug was also found on a wall next to a dishwasher in one establishment.
Under the FSAI a closure can be issued where it is deemed there could be an immediate danger to the public health, or where an improvement order has not been met.
Many of these businesses did not have an adequate pest control system in place, therefore they are not providing satisfactory care for their customers.
Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI, emphasised the importance of pest control in the food industry;
"The most common non-compliances identified in Irish food businesses during March were a significant lack of pest control, coupled with filthy conditions. It is alarming to see consistent reporting of rodent activity noted in food businesses," she said.
"Rodents harbour bacteria and spread harmful pathogens, contaminating food and surfaces. Food inspectors continue to encounter cases where consumers’ health is put at risk through a failure to comply with pest control and hygiene requirements, which is unacceptable.
"Food businesses run the risk of making their customers sick through exposing food to pests and ruining their reputation with consumers by neglecting basic food safety management and hygiene standards.Negligent practices will not be tolerated."