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Food Safety

Rodent droppings and no hand washing: Three food business closure orders served in January

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

THE FOOD SAFETY Authority of Ireland served three closure orders on food business in January, 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:

  • F Herterich’s Pork Butchers, 1 Lombard Street, Galway
  • O’Brien’s, Cloughleigh Road, Ennis, Co Clare, in a “Closed area: External food store room” at this convenience store which was a Gala outlet but has in the past couple of weeks joined the Nearby brand.

In F Herterich’s Pork Butchers, rodent droppings were found, which the inspector said posed a “serious risk to the safety of food in the business”.

The butchers also failed to comply with EU regulations on the hygiene of foodstuffs.

Its closure order was served on 10 January and lifted on 23 January.

There were also rodent droppings present in O’Briens, on high and low shelving and “adjacent to food contact materials”.

The inspector determined that there was a “serious risk of contamination” posing a “grave and immediate danger to public health”.

O’Brien’s closure order was served on 12 January and lifted on 24 January.

Meanwhile, one closure was made under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations.

  • Golden Palace (restaurant/café), First Floor, 89 Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9 

Here, there was found to be a significant risk of cross contamination of surfaces and foods due to the lack of procedures to control cross contamination in the kitchen.

The inspector observed staff members preparing raw beef at a sink not designated solely for the preparation of potentially contaminated foods.

“They proceeded to touch and handle multiple surfaces in the kitchen. No hand washing was observed before said staff member continued to work, handling and cooking food.

“Equipment used to prepare the raw beef was not cleaned and sanitised after use.”

The inspector saw an “undesignated sink” was wiped with a dirty/fraying sponge.

“The staff member did not wash hands after this practice, before returning to work, handling and cooking food,” the report says.

“Unclean” reusable cloths were found throughout the kitchen, including under the chopping boards used to prepare raw meat.

Golden Palace received a closure order on 30 January which was lifted on 2 February.

Another business – Mercury, Park Road, Waterford – was served a prohibition order, meaning it can no longer sell some of the stock it had.

Issues included, but were not limited to, the storing of raw fish in a non-food grade cardboard box, rodent droppings throughout, a large amount of perishable food stored in a non-operating freezer and raw meat being prepared in a sink used to wash hands.

Commenting, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of the FSAI, stressed the importance of complying with food safety legal requirements that have been set to ensure the protection of consumer health.

“Food safety requirements are put in place to protect the health of consumers. Consumers have a right to safe food.

“By failing to keep reasonable food safety and hygiene standards in place, a business not only poses a risk to the health of their customers, but also to their own reputation as a trustworthy and safe food business.”

The order was issued on 19 January and lifted on 23 January.