“Consumers must be able to trust that the food they are being served is safe to eat and it is unacceptable that some food businesses fail to fulfil this duty."
Last month, 10 Irish food businesses were served closure orders, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, five of which were in Dublin. This included White Rabbit on Capel Street, Super Asia Food on Capel Street, Il Capo takeaway on Talbot Street, East Oriental Take Out in Dublin 8, and the food service deli in Top Oil Gala in Finglas.
Super Asia Food received its closure order on the 16th February from the HSE due to an "active rodent (rats) infestation" by the food premises, evident from droppings. They found gaps which would make the area where food is prepared accessible for rodents. The closure order was later lifted on the 22nd February.
White Rabbit received a closure order in the middle of February, to be lifted just under a week later. The restaurant/café suffered from the same issue as Super Asia Food in that there were gaps that allowed rodent entry and they could see there was an active rodent infestation on-site due to droppings.
Il Capo Takeaway was closed for over a week with their closure order due to rodent droppings, with a "dead mouse" found in a trap beneath shelving used to store food. East Oriental Take Out was served its closure order due to a lack of effective and regular cleaning, amongst other issues; the order was lifted five days later.
The food deli area of Top Oil Gala was served its closure order on the 14th February, and has yet to be lifted. There was no hot water or soap to allow sufficient cleaning of staff hands, as well as several damp areas, and significant risk of contamination.
A further four businesses across Ireland faced closure orders in February, as well as one prohibition order.
Chief Executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) Dr Pamela Byrne said this of the February closure orders:
"Consumers must be able to trust that the food they are being served is safe to eat and it is unacceptable that some food businesses fail to fulfil this duty. Storage and food preparation areas must be properly cleaned and maintained to avoid potential contamination of food. It is also important that businesses have proper pest control procedures in place and that they are regularly checking that there are no pests in their premises. Earlier this month we ran a free webinar on managing and monitoring pest control procedures in food businesses to address this reoccurring issue. This webinar can be accessed on the FSAI website."
You can read all the reports of the various closures orders in more detail on the FSAI website HERE.
Header images via Instagram/white.rabbit.hq & Shutterstock