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Teddy's Ice Cream stand on Dún Laoghaire pier ordered to close storage unit after rodent droppings found

Teddy’s Ice Cream was one of five businesses issued with closure orders by the FSAI during July.

ICE CREAM PARLOUR Teddy’s, located at the end of the East Pier in Dún Laoghaire, was among the businesses ordered to close parts of their outlets in the latest publication of enforcement orders by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

Five businesses served with food closure orders in July were:

  • AIM Cash & Carry (Closed activity: all food sales), Unit 20, Robinhood Industrial Estate, Clondalkin, Dublin 22
  • Londis (Closed Areas: The deli counter, the butcher counter and preparation rooms and store rooms off the deli/butcher counters), 38 Fassaugh Avenue, Cabra, Dublin 7
  • Teddy’s Ice Cream (Closed area: food and packaging storage unit at the side of the premises only), East Pier Battery, Dun Laoghaire Harbour, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
  • WW Poultry (Cold Store), Unit 24 Orion Business Centre, Northwest Business Park, Ballycoolin, Dublin 15
  • Indian Prince (Restaurant/Café), Unit 16, Kilminchy Court, Portlaoise, Co Laois.

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.

Two prohibition orders were served to:

  • WW Poultry (Cold Store), Unit 24 Orion Business Centre, Northwest Business Park, Ballycoolin, Dublin 15
  • AD Cash and Carry Limited (Wholesaler/Distributor), Unit 4, St James Industrial Park, Kylemore Way, Inchicore, Dublin 8.

Teddy’s ice cream were issued with a closure order for the food and packaging storage unit at the side of the premises located on the East Pier Battery, Dun Laoghaire Harbour on 14 July.

The food safety inspection report documents that “rodent droppings were noted in the storage area”.

Food packaging and foodstuffs were stored in the area leaving them exposed to contamination by rodents. The storage area was very poorly pest-proofed, with numerous holes, gaps and defects noted in the structure allowing potential access to rodents.
Disturbed rodent poison was scattered onto the floor. A grave and immediate danger to foodstuffs exists in the storage unit because rodents can transmit harmful pathogens to foodstuffs and food packaging through their droppings and urine.

A spokesperson for Teddy’s Ice Cream said: “Unfortunately a storage unit for our small concession at Dun Laoghaire’s East Pier was served a closure notice last month.

This does not impact any other stores. This concession has been closed since the middle of March, to adhere to the Covid-19 Government recommendations.

“Before it’s closure, the unit was not used to store food for service. The issues outlined are being dealt with and the unit will not be used in the future. We appreciate the strict standards upheld by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and are committed to implementing them across all our stores and concessions.

“As a family business, we are heartbroken that there has been so much confusion as to the location of this storage unit and want to offer reassurance that this was not in an area that ever served or stored food.

“We will ensure this is not an issue in the future and want to reassure our loyal customers that we will continue to serve our freshly whipped and soft scoop traditional ice-cream in the safest way, while adhering to social distancing.”

AIM Cash & Carry was ordered to close a part of its business at Robinhood Industrial Estate, Clondalkin

The report from the inspector notes: “On inspection of the food premises this morning 1st July 2020 there was evidence of recent rat activity in the rear store area.

Photographic evidence taken at the time of inspection shows an open chocolate bar under shelving in the rear store and rat droppings on the floor beside this partially eaten product.

“There was evidence of packaging having been gnawed by rats and poison bait trays having been disturbed. The building is not adequately pest proofed. There were gaps and holes in the external wall of the premises and at the shutter door in the rear store. Such gaps and holes offer access to rodents.”

The deli counter, the butcher counter and preparation rooms and store rooms at a Londis in Cabra was ordered to close.

The report noted that there was “raw meat cut and packaged in an area where ready-to-eat food is stored and handled,” adding that the same workers handle both type of meats.

This “poses a grave and immediate danger to public health,” the report said, while noting other food safety and hygiene concerns.

WW Poultry was ordered to close the entire premises at the Northwest Business Park in Ballycoolin as it had “not been registered or approved by a competent authority for the operations taking place specifically storage and processing of meat and poultry”.

It was also storing “meat considered unfit for human consumption due to putrefaction was being stored at the establishment”.

Indian Prince in Portlaoise was issued with a food closure order as “food equipment were visibly filthy throughout”.

“There were significant accumulations of ingrained dirt, food debris, grease and dust noted through the entire premises.”

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A new problem: ‘Unscrupulous operators’

According to the chief executive of the FSAI, Dr Pamela Byrne, while recent inspections in July have identified a number of breaches of food legislation, the FSAI has also identified some food businesses operating outside of the law that were not registered or approved.

This means they were selling food with no regulatory oversight for food safety or consumer protection.

“A number of serious incidents have been identified where authorised officers found people operating out of food premises or vehicles where no adherence to basic food safety and hygiene practices where in place.

A food business was found transporting un-refrigerated meat and meat products in the boot and back seat of a car.
On another occasion, a wholesale business was operating in filthy conditions with unfit and out of date food, whilst another establishment had a significant level of unlabelled and untraceable food on its premises.

“In all these cases, authorised officers used enforcement powers to mitigate the risk to consumers from these business operations.”

She added: “However, we would be concerned that this could be reflective of a growing level of unscrupulous operators seeking to make a profit, at the expense of public health.

“We would urge consumers to question anyone offering them food for sale that seems unusual or that has no food labels on the packaging. We would also ask food businesses not to purchase food from unregistered/unapproved suppliers.”

- a statement from Teddy’s was added at 11am 11 August

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