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Dublin restaurant forced to close after live cockroaches were found on a container of nuts during food safety inspection

November was the worst-month ever for food safety with record numbers of FSAI orders.

Image: Shutterstock/MR.MITR SRILACHAI

TWENTY-ONE FOOD BUSINESSES – the highest number in over 20 years – were ordered to close after inspectors found them in breach of food safety legislation last month.

Inspectors from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) closed businesses for everything from the presence of a live rat on the premises to evidence of cockroaches in a kitchen. 

The FSAI said that November saw the highest number of enforcement orders in one month since legislation was introduced in 1998. 

The orders were issued by environmental health officers in the Health Service Executive.

Eleven closure orders were served under the FSAI Act 1998. 

  • New Century Chinese Takeaway, Riverstown, Dundalk, Louth
  • Hui Kee (Closed area: Area to the rear of the premises housing coldroom), 52 Bulfin Road Inchicore, Dublin 8
  • Vernon Catering (Closed area: Packing area of open food in warehouse), Unit C104, Castleforbes Business Park, Sheriff Street Upper, East Wall, Dublin 1
  • Sajna Exclusive Dining, 28/29 Bishop Street, Cobh, Cork
  • Apache Pizza, 58 Dame Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
  • Blackchurch Inn, Naas Road, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin
  • Hilan Chinese and Korean BBQ Restaurant, 45 Capel Street, Dublin 1
  • The Kitchen, Emmet Street, Trim, Meath
  • Roma Restaurant (Closed Area:the external area to the rear and side of the premises used for food production and storage), Dundalk Street, Carlingford, Louth
  • East Ocean, 61 Port Road, Letterkenny, Donegal
  • Elita Meats, Unit D4, Dunshaughlin Business Park, Dunshaughlin, Meath

Ten closures were served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations 2010. 

  • Tony’s Bistro, 69 North Main Street, Cork
  • Capital Turkish Kebab House, 3 Eglington Street, Galway
  • Ballyneety Pizza, Ballyneety, Limerick
  • Westmanstown Sports Centre, Westmanstown, Dublin 15
  • The Blue Anchor, Bellurgan Point, Dundalk, Louth
  • Tikka Asian Street Food, Schooner House, South Quay, Wicklow
  • Salvetas Take Away and Café, 4A Church Street, Finglas, Dublin 11
  • Khan Spices, 84 North Main Street, Cork
  • Maliks Tandoori Restaurant, 1 Lower Pearse Road, Sligo
  • The Paragon (Closed activity: all activities with the exception of service of hot and cold drinks and prepackaged ready to eat snacks), Main Street, Skibbereen, Cork

Two prohibition orders were served under the FSAI Act 1998. 

  • Vernon Catering, Unit C104, Castleforbes Business Park, Sheriff Street Upper, East Wall, Dublin 1
  • Elita Meats, Unit D4, Dunshaughlin Business Park, Dunshaughlin, Meath

Inspectors discovered “rodent activity” in the kitchen, preparation and storage areas in New Century Chinese Takeaway. 

In Hui Kee, the area to the rear of the premises, which houses the coldroom, was closed

The inspectors issued a closure order against Vernon Catering after finding “substantial” pigeon faeces in a range of areas, including a wash hand basin, a paper towel dispenser, a food labelling printer and a food packing table. 

At Sajna Exclusive Dining, a dead rat was found in a dry goods store beside the kitchen, while there were also rodent droppings in the same room. 

Inspectors also found a live rat on the premises in Apache Pizza “running from behind an obsolete piece of equipment”. Raw sewage was also noted on the floor of a customer toilet. 

In Blackchurch Inn, high levels of E Coli were found in drinking water and ice samples. 

The FSAI discovered live cockroaches on an open container of cashew nuts and on shelves, as well as dead cockroaches throughout Hilan Chinese and Korean BBQ Restaurant. 

Inspectors found “rodent activity” in the kitchen in The Kitchen. 

Meanwhile in the Roma Restaurant, where the rear and side of the businesses were closed, there was poor pest control with “food being produced and stored in an outdoor area”. 

In East Ocean, food was stored in “dirty fridges and freezers”, as well as dirty containers. 

Inspectors also found evidence of rats at Elita Meats, while the electric fly killer didn’t work. 

In Tony’s Bistro, it was noted that “grease was running down the walls behind the cooking equipment and had built up on the floor beneath” and some surfaces were “visibly dirty”

Capital Turkish Kebab House was found to have failed to maintain a food safety management system. 

Inspectors noted that Ballyneety Pizza had failed to comply with an improvement notice from August. 

In Westmanstown Sports Centre, there was a dead mouse in a trap in both kitchens, as well as mouse droppings in one of the kitchens. 

Inspectors deemed that there was a “grave and immediate danger” in The Blue Anchor after evidence of rodent activity was noted. 

In Tikka Asian Street Food, there was evidence of cross-contamination of food. 

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Additionally, at Salvetas Take Away and Café the businesses was being renovated and the premises were covered in “dirt and dust”. Inspectors noted that the door was open for the duration of the inspection to allow builders to come in and out. 

At Khan Spices, food was stored on the floor and the mincer was “encrusted” with dried meat. 

In Maliks Tandoori Restaurant, inspectors found that the “standard of cleaning” was poor. “There were cobwebs, spiders and insects such as woodlouse present throughout the kitchen and the ancillary facilities,” inspectors noted. 

The Paragon, where everything was closed except the sale of drinks and pre-packaged snacks, one yellow bucket was “used for cleaning all areas of the premises including patrons toilets, kitchen and food storage areas”. Inspectors also found a “risk of rodent bait contaminating food”. 

At Vernon Catering, vegetables and other foods were removed from sale, while at Elita Meats inspectors found that there was evidence of rats on the premises and no facilities for disinfecting knives and other tools. 

Under the FSAI Act 1998, a closure order is served where it is deemed that there is or there is likely to be a grave and immediate danger to public health at or in the premises; or where an improvement order is not complied with.

Closure orders can refer to the immediate closure of all or part of the food premises, or all or some of its activities, but can be lifted once a food premises is found to be compliant.

Dr Pamela Byrne, the Chief Executive of the FSAI, called the closure orders “totally unacceptable”. 

Some of closures lasted a few days, while other premises remain closed. 

“The presence of rodents and other pests presents a grave and immediate danger to consumers’ health and food businesses must put in place more robust pest control systems,” she said. 

“These operators are damaging the reputation of the food industry as we enter one of the busiest months of the year,” she said. 

Full details of the closure orders and improvement orders issued by the FSAI in November can be read here

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