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Dublin restaurant closed due to 'substantial evidence that rats are active'

Six food businesses were ordered to partially or fully close last month.

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SIX FOOD BUSINESSES were ordered to partially or fully close after being found in breach of food safety legislation in March. 

According to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, reasons for the closures included rodent droppings, rat activity and a foul odour. 

The closure orders were served on:

  • Taka Ra,  37 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1

The restaurant was closed for five days after food safety inspectors found “substantial evidence that rats are active in the rear area”. An area used for washing equipment and preparing food. 

During the inspection on 21 March, an inspector found multiple piles of “fresh-looking rat droppings” along with gnawed packaging in three separate locations in the kitchen. 

The order was issued under the FSAI Act 1998 on  21 March and subsequently lifted on 25 March.

The full text of the order can be seen here.

  • Cuppa City Coffee, 3 Roger Casement Square, Cobh, Cork

The café was closed for four days after a visit from food safety inspectors on 19 March. 

A report noted that a “large amount of rodent droppings” were found behind a freezer.

The inspector noted that the freezer was in a corridor which links all areas of the premises, from the kitchen to the dining area. 

The order was issued under the FSAI Act 1998 on 19 March and subsequently lifted on 22 March.

The full text of the order can be seen here.

  • The Old Punch Bowl, 116 Rock Road, Booterstown, County Dublin

The kitchen and food storage area of the pub were closed following an inspection on 11 March. 

The report notes that a large amount of rodent droppings were scattered on the floor of the food storage area, which is adjacent to the kitchen. 

Droppings were also found at the back of the freezers in the kitchen. 

The report concluded that adequate measures had not been taken to control pests or to thoroughly clean and disinfect surfaces where rodent activity was noted. 

The order was issued under the FSAI Act 1998 on 11 March and subsequently lifted on 12 March.

The full text of the order can be seen here.

  • Xian Street Food, 9 Quay Street, Galway

The satellite kitchen at 8 Quay Street was closed for four days after food safety inspectors found the premise, including equipment, to be “very dirty”. 

Inspectors noted accumulations of food waste and debris which “would provide ideal harbourage and a readily available food source for rodents”. 

The report states that the premise, during the time of inspection, was not pest proof.

The layout, design and size of the food preparation area was found to be inadequate. Inspectors found that food preparation activities at the restaurant gave rise to an “unacceptable risk” of cross-contamination of foodstuffs. 

Preparation of raw meat and poultry products was found to be taking place in direct proximity, using the same facilities as cooked meats and other foods which were also being prepared at the premises.

The order was issued under the FSAI Act 1998 on 1 March and subsequently lifted on 5 March.

The full text of the order can be seen here.

  • Victoria Asian Cuisine, 5a The Crescent, Monkstown, County Dublin

The restaurant was closed on 28 March after inspectors noted “a clear lack of understanding of basic food hygiene rules”. 

The report notes that the premises was maintained in a very dirty condition. There was a significant build-up of dirt and grease on surfaces while cleaning equipment was found to be “filthy”. 

Dirty cloths were also being used to clean surfaces and crockery.

Inspectors raised concern over the storage of foodstuffs. The report states that they were stored in dirty containers “presenting contamination risks”. 

The order was issued on 28 March under the EC Official Control of Foodstuffs Regulations 2010, and subsequently lifted on 29 March. 

The full text of the order can be seen here.

  • Gourmet Tart Company, Unit 1, Block 13, Ballybane Industrial Estate, Tuam Road, Galway

The business was forced to close after an inspection found the premises to be dirty and “a slug was noted on the wall adjacent to the dishwasher”.

The premises, including equipment was found to be in a very dirty condition, with food waste and debris and stagnant water which would provide harbourage and a readily available food source for pests

The inspection report noted that there was a lack of adequate disinfection as the dishwasher did not reach adequate temperatures to ensure disinfection.

During the inspection, it was noted that the premise was not pest proof, with a number of possible entry points noted throughout the premises. Some ants were noted close to the rear door underneath containers of crushed biscuit while a slug was noted on the wall adjacent the dishwasher.

The report noted that containers of food were stored directly on the floor throughout the premises which were in “a greasy and dirty condition throughout”

There was no evidence of any hand washing being carried out during the inspection,  the report notes there was also no soap at the wash hand basin in the staff toilet on the ground floor.

The report also found that food was prepared, stored and transported in containers that were not clean or disinfected.

Large containers for mixing foodstuffs that food workers stated had been cleaned, did not appear clean or adequately disinfected.

The order was issued on 22 March under the EC Official Control of Foodstuffs Regulations 2010, and subsequently lifted on 24 March.

The full text of the order can be seen here.

A prohibition order was also issued to the Gourmet Tart company which ordered that all food manufactured on 21 and 22 March be withdrawn from sale with immediate effect. 

The full text of that order can be seen here. 

About the author:

Adam Daly

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