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16 Jan 2022

Rats, cockroaches and filth resulted in takeaway closures before Christmas

Rats, cockroaches and filth resulted in takeaway closures before Christmas

Rats, cockroaches and filth resulted in takeaway closures before Christmas

A number of food businesses were served with closure and prohibition orders before Christmas for a variety of reasons, including rat and cockroach infestations.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland reported that two Closure Orders and three Prohibition Orders were served on food businesses during the month of December 2021 for breaches of food safety legislation, pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998 and the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020. The Enforcement Orders were issued by environmental health officers in the Health Service Executive (HSE) and officers of the FSAI.

One Closure Order was served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on Express Fish and Chips, 39 Abbey Road, Kill of the Grange, Monkstown, Co. Dublin.

Another Closure Order was served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020 on DFC Take Away, 82b Dorset Street Lower, Dublin 1.

A Prohibition Order was served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on Ballinwillin House, a small meat manufacturing Plant in Mitchelstown, Cork.

Two Prohibition Orders were served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020 on Pinoy Sari, Sari Store Limited, 25/26 Mary Street Little, Dublin 7 and Healing with Hemp, T/A Kama Hemp, Burdautien, Clones, Monaghan.

According to the FSAI, the reasons for the Enforcement Orders in December include inadequate pest control system in place; food and waste storage rooms had not been adequately cleaned; significant rodent infestation; the carcass of an unknown dead animal was found on the floor of the waste and food storage room; live cockroaches found in the premises; rat droppings observed under waste bins; encrusted food and grease on cooking equipment surfaces, handles and shelving; uncovered and overflowing bin full of dirty food packaging and food waste; premises not in a clean condition; no appropriate traceability information; operation of an unapproved food business.

The FSAI is also published details of a Closure Order served in November 2021 under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020. The Closure Order had been subject to an appeal to the District Court, which was subsequently withdrawn. The Closure Order was served on Healing with Hemp, Trading as Kama Hemp (Closed activities: All activities of the food business, its establishments, holdings or other premises and the internet sites and social media sites operated by food business be ceased for the purpose of placing food on the market), Burdautien, Clones, Monaghan.

Details of the food businesses served with Enforcement Orders are published on the FSAI’s website at www.fsai.ie. Closure Orders and Improvement Orders will remain listed in the enforcement reports on the website for a period of three months from the date of when a premises is adjudged to have corrected its food safety issue, with Prohibition Orders being listed for a period of one month.

Looking at last year, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has stated that 59 Enforcement Orders were served on food businesses for breaches in food safety legislation in 2021, an increase of 40% in comparison to 42 Enforcement Orders served in 2020. 

"The increase in numbers largely reflects the reopening of many food businesses following long periods of temporary closures in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19," The FSAI said.

The FSAI reiterated the importance of robust food safety management systems and stressed that the legal responsibility lies with food businesses to ensure that the food they sell is compliant with food safety legislation and is safe to eat. 

Commenting on the annual figures, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI stressed the serious nature of a food business being served an Enforcement Order.

“Unfortunately, many of the reasons cited for Enforcement Orders concern the basic requirements for food safety and hygiene and should not be happening in any food business. There is absolutely no excuse for negligent food practices at any time. Enforcement Orders are served on food businesses only when a serious risk to consumer health has been established or where there are a number of ongoing serious breaches of food legislation. All food businesses must recognise that they are legally bound to ensure that the food they produce is safe to eat and that they implement and support  a strong  food safety culture, within the business. Consumers have a right to safe food. Non-compliance by food businesses will not be tolerated and all breaches of food safety legislation will be dealt with the full extent of the law,” said Dr Byrne.

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