Four food businesses across Ireland received closure orders last month for breaches of safety legislation.
According to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), the orders were served in July 2022 by environmental health inspectors at the Health Service Executive (HSE) for food safety breaches pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998 and the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020.
The closure orders were issued to restaurants and cafés in Donegal, Dublin and Cork.
Superfruit at the English Market in Co Cork, Bamboo Foods Ltd in Co Donegal, and Co Dublin's Zing by Chaska and Doson all received closure orders.
Eight Prohibition Orders, which are under appeal, were also served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020 to Holland and Barrett in Co Dublin.
Reasons for the closure orders include presence of rats, rat droppings near food storage and evidence of pests gnawing foodstuffs, poor standards of basic hygiene in food preparation areas, inadequate training and lack of knowledge on temperature control, and a lack of food safety monitoring leading to unsafe food being produced and sold.
Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI has emphasised the importance of vigorous pest control systems, which should be facilitated across all food businesses in Ireland. She also stressed that particular attention is required to ensure food is stored correctly and safely, especially during summer months when temperatures are usually higher.
She said, "These Closure Orders demonstrate the importance of regular and consistent checks by businesses to ensure safe food practices are in place and adhered to in the interest of protecting consumer health.
"It is disappointing to see a number of these enforcement orders relating to the presence of rodents on the premises. Ensuring food is free of contamination includes putting robust pest control systems in place and also training/supervising staff appropriately.
"It must also be noted that summer is a particularly busy time of year for many food businesses, and it is critical that businesses have the necessary systems in place to account for both the increase in customers and temperatures. Food bacteria can multiply quickly in warm weather and food businesses must ensure food is stored correctly.”
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