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FSAI Closures

Cockroach infestation and overflowing sewage: eight food businesses ordered to shut last month

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland confirmed the closure orders today.

EIGHT FOOD BUSINESSES were ordered to close last month, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

Four closure orders were served under the FSAI Act 1998 on:

  • Chaska (restaurant), 3 Berry House, Custom House Square, IFSC, Dublin 1
  • Boba Bar, 139 Parnell Street, Dublin 1
  • Greenville Deli, 312 Rathmines Road Lower, Dublin 6
  • Wok in Noodle Bar (Closed area: Food contact material and equipment storeroom only), 48-40 Stephens Street Lower, Dublin 2

The closure order for Chaska restaurant noted that the drain serving the kitchen and associated area was blocked at the time of inspection resulting in “the staff toilet overflowing sewage onto the floor”.

“There were pools of foul water present on the kitchen floor which appeared to have emanated from the grease trap. Food workers were observed walking through the sewage and foul water, spreading it through the kitchen while the food was being prepared.”

The report added that due to the blocked drain there was no hand, food, or equipment wash facilities available, resulting in “a grave and immediate risk to public health”.

The closure order for Boba Bar found “an active cockroach infestation at all stages of the life cycles” in four traps below the food preparation area.

The FSAI inspector found that the above conditions lead to “a serious risk of food being contaminated with pathogenic bacteria likely to render the food unfit for human consumption”.

In the case of Greenville Deli, the closure order notes that ready to eat sandwiches with ‘high risk’ ingredients were being prepared on-site but were not being refrigerated at any stage – after preparation, before distribution, or during distribution to customers.

“In some instances, sandwiches were being prepared from 5.30am and not reaching the final customer until between 10am to 11am,” the report states. Due to these breaches, the inspector also issued a prohibition order on Greenville Deli under the FSAI Act, 1998.

However, the deli was allowed to resume operations 24 hours later after these issues were resolved.

The closure order for Wok in Noodle Bar relates to its food contact material and equipment storeroom only. During the inspection, the FSAI found there was a lack of routine maintenance to keep rats out of the premises, with pest access identified in a gap under the front door.

Rat activity was noted in the food contact material and equipment storeroom, with rat droppings on the floor throughout and gnaw marks on the piping insulation.

Four other closure orders were also served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations 2020 on:

  • Navan Soup Kitchen, Brews Hill Navan, Meath
  • Karma (restaurant) (Closed activities: Part of the activities of the business, its establishments, holdings or other premises be ceased namely the preparation and sale of sushi and sashimi), 10-12 Mill Street, Balbriggan, Dublin 1
  • Mitchell’s Bar (Area Closed: The kitchen used for the preparation, cooking and service of food), Main Street, Carrigallen, Leitrim
  • Healing with Hemp, Trading as Kama Hemp (Under appeal) (Closed activities: All activities of the food business, its establishments, holdings or other premises and the internet sites and social media sites operated by food business be ceased for the purpose of placing food on the market), Burdautien, Clones, Monaghan

In the case of Navan Soup Kitchen, the FSAI closure order was issued after the inspector found no evidence that cleaning and disinfection were taking place at a sufficient frequency. The report also notes that there was an inadequate provision for the storage and disposal of food waste, and inadequate procedures to control pests.

In the closure order issued to Karma, there was no evidence of controls in place to control the risk associated with the storage, preparation and offering for sale of sushi and sashimi. The inspector also found that there was no evidence that the person preparing sushi and sashimi at the time of inspection was “adequately trained/supervised/instructed in the controls necessary”. 

In the closure order for the kitchen of Mitchell’s Bar, the inspector said that the business operator had failed to effectively address non-compliances to prevent a recurrence, noting similar breaches of the legislation at this premises over a period of time, as evidenced by inspections from 2015 to 2021.

During a follow-up inspection on 1 November, the inspector found that previous non-compliances had not been addressed and “it was evident from speaking with staff that the food business operator had failed to communicate the non-compliances to them, or provided instruction in relation to the ongoing non-compliances”.

The report notes that the premise was not maintained in a clean condition with “substantial accumulations of dirt, dust and food particles were noted behind and beneath items of equipment”. The inspector found certain operational practices, such as an uncovered container of prepared potatoes stored on the floor of the rear corridor/lobby, gave rise to a risk of contamination of food.

The report added that the business operator failed to ensure that food handlers were supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters.

The closure order issued to Healing with Hemp was not available at the time of publication as it is under appeal.

Commenting on the closures, Dr Pamela Byrne, FSAI Chief Executive, said it was particularly concerning that several of this month’s closure orders included instances of staff not receiving adequate training in food safety practices.

“Food businesses must ensure they have a strong food safety culture in place, including regular and ongoing training of both full and part-time staff. Food safety culture embeds best practice standards as a top priority in a food business and is reflected in how it does its daily work, said Dr Byrne. 

“There can be zero tolerance for negligent practices that put consumers’ health at risk and the FSAI and food inspectors will use the full powers available to them under food law if a food business is found to be in breach.”

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