Four businesses were closed due to breaches of food safety regulation this month. SHUTTERSTOCK/MADERLA
Closure Orders

Mouldy milkshakes and waste water in kitchens: Four food businesses closed in October

The FSAI detailed the reasons for their closure orders last month in individual reports.

THE FOOD SAFETY Authority of Ireland served four closure orders on food business in October, it has revealed.

Two closure orders were served under the FSAI Act, while the remaining two were served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations.

The two closures that were ordered under the FSAI Act included:

  • Base Coffee, The Mart, Newbridge Road, Kilcullen, Kildare
  • Indian Spices, 138 Parnell Street, Dublin 1

Base Coffee‘s drinking water was found to be contaminated with E.Coli, Coliforms, and Enterococci, after a test was conducted on a sample taken from the premises.

“Given these levels of contamination, the drinking water supply poses a grave and immediate danger to public health,” the FSAI inspector report read.

It was also found that there was an inadequate supply of potable water or water fit for human consumption to be used during cooking.

The order, served to the owners, stated there was a “grave and immediate danger to public health” as a result of these breaches.

It was found that the kitchen of Indian Spices, located in Dublin’s city centre, had been contaminated with foul water from the apartments above the restaurant. 

This water was “being spread throughout the kitchen” by the staff of the establishment, according to the report from the FSAI. 

The spreading of this water was likely to contaminate food with pathogens “such as E. Coli or salmonella”.

These findings also posed a “grave and immediate risk” to the health of the public.

Additionally, Indian Spices were not found to have a hand wash facility in the kitchen and the hand wash basin, that had been in the kitchen, was recently removed.

Meanwhile, two closures were made under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, including:

  • Mizzoni Pizza (take away), 12 Railway Street, Navan, Meath
  • Seasons Chinese, Bridge Street, Strokestown, Roscommon

Evidence of inadequate cleaning of pots, pans and containers was found in Mizzoni Pizza in Navan, Co Meath. The FSAI report says this is reflected by pizza dough containers which had been “visibly soiled with food debris/flour residues”.

Other utensils, such as tongs and pizza cutters, were “encrusted with food residues from the previous night” and mould was visible on the inside of the takeaway’s milkshake blender.

Facilities for cleaning the equipment, provided to staff, were also deemed inadequate. Evidence of this was seen from a “lack of a suitable food grade surface sanitiser designed to destroy bacteria”.

The failure to supply such cleaning equipment could result in food poisoning, the FSAI report says.

There was not enough evidence to prove there were permanent procedures in place for managing the cleaning and hygiene of the workspace and safety of the food in the establishment, known as HACCP.

There was also no verification or oversight from management to ensure that these procedures were being conducted correctly.

Evidence shows foodstuffs were in areas that were likely to reproduce harmful pathogens. The inspector also noted the lack of an allergy protocol and that the employees demonstrated unsafe food handling practices.

Seasons Chinese had multiple breaches pertaining to raw, uncooked chicken that had been left out on various surfaces throughout the premises – including a container of the meat that was being prepared next to cooked noodles in the designated wash-up area.

Eight large containers of raw chicken were also stored out of refrigeration at room temperature.

No handwashing was observed during the inspection by the FSAI and other food storage breaches, such as cooked dumplings and chicken wings being stored on top of the kitchen’s grease trap, were observed.

The inspector also witnesses the owner of the restaurant demonstrate poor food hygiene practices to new members of staff, after they left quantities of meats at room temperature out in the open and prepared raw foods next to cooked foods in the wash up area.

The large amount of food and meat that was left out by staff and management led to the inspector assessing that the monitoring procedures of critical control points in the kitchen were not implemented.

“There was no evidence of food safety training received by food workers,” the report reads.

The inspector described the premises as being “filthy” in their report, with dirty cardboard being used as a food contact surface for cooked rice and also as flooring throughout the business.

A “defective handmade scoop” was being used for dispensing chips during the inspection, which was not heat resistant and posed a risk of contamination of foods.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI said: “There can be zero tolerance for negligent practices that put consumers’ health at risk, and the full powers of food law will be used if a food business is found to be in breach.”

She said that consumers have a “right to safe food” and there is a personal responsibility for managers and all employees to comply with food safety legal requirements at all times.