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Cockroaches and dirty conditions were among the reasons for the seven closure orders served on food businesses in December, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).
Environmental health officers served notice on a number of restaurants, including Ruposhi Indian Restaurant, 1 Whitworth Road, Drumcondra, Dublin, Tigh Giblin, Spiddal, Galway and the Rose Garden Chinese Restaurant, 1 Church Street, Douglas, Cork.
Also ordered to close over food safety breaches were Cartons Daybreak (grocery), Clonhenritt, Camolin, Wexford and Boojum Food Stall, Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
Athboy Pizzas (take away), Main Street, Athboy, Meath and China Town (take away), Main Street, Castlebellingham, Louth were also subject to closure orders during the month.
The enforcement notices published on the FSAI’s website show that Ruposhi was ordered to close on December 20th due to evidence of a cockroach infestation and a lack of food hygiene.
An order issued against Eamon Giblin of Tigh Giblin on December 15th by Health Service Executive inspectors said the premises was “in a very dirty condition throughout”. Cobwebs and dead spiders were evident in the dry goods store.
The order issued against the Rose Garden Chinese Restaurant found that management and food handlers demonstrated “very poor knowledge of basic good food hygiene practices”.
At the Athboy Pizza restaurant, environmental health officers found a blockage in the sewage pipe from the staff toilet, extending to the waste water outlet serving the kitchen sinks.
The inspectors said the toilet bowl was “full of human excrement”.
“When taps were turned throughout the food business, the human excrement was observed bubbling up through the toilet bowl. The staff toilet opens directly into a food preparation room.”
A successful prosecution was taken in December against Chef’s Corner (take away), 14 Georges Quay, Cork.
The FSAI said 69 enforcement orders were served on food businesses in total last year, a drop of over a third on the 106 served in 2016. Some 64 of the 69 were closure orders, with one improvement order and four prohibition orders.
The agency highlighted the importance of “robust food safety management procedures” and stressed the responsibility lay with food businesses “to ensure that the food they sell is compliant with food safety legislation and is safe to eat”.
In late 2017, the FSAI began publishing the full details of the enforcement orders which it said was in line with its objective to increase transparency as a regulator and to raise food safety and hygiene standards in food businesses.
FSAI chief executive Dr Pamela Byrne said that while it was “very encouraging” to see enforcement orders drop significantly for 2017 compared with 2016, 69 was “still too many”.
“Unfortunately, there continues to be a minority of food businesses not complying with their legal requirements. Food businesses must recognise that they are legally bound to ensure that the food they serve is safe to eat. Consumers have a right to safe food.
“Enforcement Orders are only issued by Enforcement Officers when they have sufficient evidence that a serious breach of food safety has been committed. Closure Orders can refer to the immediate closure of all or part of the food premises, or all or some of its activities,” Dr Byrne said.