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Monday 25 September 2023 Dublin: 18°C
# Closure Orders
Here's where the dirtiest takeaways and restaurants in Ireland were in 2018
In all, the FSAI issued over 100 enforcement orders last year.

THE NUMBER OF takeaways and restaurants shut down in Ireland last year rose over 25%, with 66 enforcement orders dished out across the nation.

Overall, the number of orders enforced against various food businesses, including takeaways, restaurants, wholesalers, butchers and retailers was up by half compared to 2017.

The chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland Dr Pamela Byrne described this increase as unacceptable and said there are “absolutely no excuses for negligent food practices”. 

Of these orders against takeaways and restaurants, Dublin was by far the county with most offenders (22). But when you break it down by population, however, it is actually Louth which fared the worst last year with six closure orders issued.

Louth takes over from Donegal, which had the inauspicious title of having the most takeaway/restaurant closures per head of population in 2017.

The closures are also spread across the county, with Drogheda, Dundalk, Ardee and Colon among areas that had such orders issued. 

20190116_Restaurant_Closures FSAI FSAI

Across the counties, there was an almost equal number of restaurants issued with orders as takeaways.

Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Dublin – 22
  2. Cork – 7
  3. Louth – 6
  4. Meath – 5
  5. Tipperary – 4
  6. Limerick – 3
  7. Kilkenny – 3
  8. Mayo -3
  9. Clare  – 2
  10. Westmeath – 2
  11. Clare – 2
  12. Laois – 2
  13. Cavan – 1
  14. Carlow – 1
  15. Galway – 1
  16. Donegal – 1

Roscommon, meanwhile, got a clean bill of health again in 2018 and was joined by eight other counties, including Kerry, Wicklow, Offaly, Waterford, Sligo, Kildare, Leitrim and Longford.

The HSE, on behalf of the FSAI, inspects tens of thousands of food establishments in Ireland each and every year.

Dublin leads the way in terms of the number of businesses closed, with the northside of Dublin (12) having slightly more shut than the south (10).


The exact reason for a closure order being served can vary, but are almost always hygiene-related.

One recent example of a restaurant in Meath found “rodent droppings, “a gnawed bag of chips” and a dead mouse on the floor behind a freezer.

“The presence of rodents in the kitchen area poses a grave and immediate danger to public health due to the potential contamination of foodstuffs,” inspectors wrote.

Another closure order was enforced in Kilkenny after surfaces of refrigerators and freezers showed evidence of rust, mould and dirt, food stored in broken containers and cardboard boxes covered in grease and dirt.

Inspectors said: “There were no cleaning chemicals on site to effectively clean and disinfect the food contact equipment and surfaces within the food premises.”

In another Meath case, an inspector at a restaurant saw a live rat coming out of a drain when the tap was turned on. 

When such orders are served, the offending premises must take action to rectify the problems highlighted before being granted permission to resume trading. 

If it is lifted, the business has its record scrubbed from the FSAI’s website after three months.

Dr Pamela Byrne said: “ Food safety legislation sets standards which food businesses must adhere to, and there can be no shortcuts when it comes to ensuring the protection of consumer health.

It is of paramount importance that all food businesses must operate stringent food safety practices in order to ensure the food they are producing and selling to their customers is safe to eat.

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