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Here's where the dirtiest takeaways and restaurants were in Ireland last year

There were 124 enforcement orders issued by the FSAI last year, an increase on the previous year.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Shutterstock/WStudio

THERE WAS A 13% increase in the number of enforcement orders issued by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland last year, with Dublin accounting for one in three of every order issued in 2019.

Dublin had over 40 enforcement orders issued to takeaways, restaurants and other food businesses last year with only Meath (12) and Cork (11) also reaching double figures.

In all, the FSAI said that 124 enforcement orders were served in 2019, with “recurring” issues including evidence of rodent infestation and rodent droppings, filthy conditions and unsuitable food storage facilities.

Its chief executive Dr Pamela Byrne said these type of orders “are never served for minor food safety breaches” but rather when a “serious risk to consumer health has been identified”. 

The FSAI inspects tens of thousands of food establishments in Ireland each and every year.

Of the 124 enforcement orders issued last year, 107 were closure orders, four were improvement orders and 13 were prohibition orders.

Last year, Dublin had at least one food business issued with an enforcement order each month last year, peaking at eight in November. Even when accounting for population, Dublin still had by far the most food businesses reprimanded last year.

Here’s a breakdown by county:

  • Dublin – 42
  • Meath – 12
  • Cork – 11
  • Louth – 9
  • Limerick – 7
  • Cavan – 6
  • Galway – 6
  • Kerry – 5
  • Monaghan – 5
  • Donegal – 4
  • Kildare – 3
  • Kilkenny – 3
  • Carlow – 2
  • Mayo -2
  • Roscommon – 2
  • Waterford -2
  • Offaly – 1
  • Sligo – 1
  • Tipperary – 1
  • Wicklow – 1

Six counties were given a clean bill of health. They are Clare, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Westmeath and Wexford.

Closures

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.

Recent closures have included a Dublin restaurant where inspectors found “evidence of rodent activity”

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Another instance in Cork 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”

A retailer in Dublin in September, meanwhile, was closed for a day in September dead rat was found in a trap underneath the delicatessen counter.

Dr Byrne said: “ There is no excuse for careless food safety practices. Food inspectors are encountering the same issues time and time again. The typical reasons why Enforcement Orders have to be served are easily avoidable.

While the vast majority of food businesses are compliant with food safety legislation, we still continue to face negligent practices that are potentially putting consumer’s health at risk. It is disappointing to see an increase in Enforcement Orders for the second consecutive year and businesses should take action to prevent the trend continuing into 2020.

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About the author:

Sean Murray

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