Mart canteen shut down after rodent droppings found by inspectors

Mart stock image. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Mart stock image. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The restaurant in a Co Westmeath mart was recently served with a closure order by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland after rodent droppings were found in the kitchen.

It was one of 13 closure orders announced today by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland that were served on food businesses in November.

Delvin Mart's restaurant was served the notice to close with immediate effect on November 22 by the Food Safety Authority, after an inspection found that rodent droppings were evident in the kitchen on the floor, on shelving and in a container storing utensils.

"The conditions observed pose or are likely to pose a serious risk of contamination rendering the foodstuffs in this area unfit or injurious to health."

According to the notice served by the FSAI, the restaurant at the mart will remain closed until

an order to contrary effect by a Court of competent jurisdiction; or further written direction by the Health Service Executive.

Other premises the FSAI sent enforcement orders to in November included:

•         The Blue Door (take-away), 59 John Street, Kilkenny

•         Teach Lisa Crèche (Closed area: Kitchen), Newtowncunningham, Donegal

•         O’Rourke’s (retailer), 32 Bridgefoot Street, Dublin 8

•         Tesco Ireland Limited, Dublin Road, Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim

•         O’Briens Gala, Tulla Road, Ennis, Clare

•         Everest Express Fish & Chips Takeaway, Tulla Road, Ennis, Clare

•         Rice Asian Cuisine (restaurant), 11 Bridge Street, Ardee, Louth

•         Galmere Fresh Foods Limited (Closed activity: Manufacturing of ready to eat products containing fresh basil, not subject to heat treatment, as an ingredient), Ballybrit Upper Industrial Estate, Monivea Road, Galway

•         Colours of India (restaurant), Unit 2 Hibernian Way, Mallow, Cork

•         Dawat Indian Restaurant, Main Street, Castlebar, Mayo

•         Original Curry House (take away), Main Street, Kiltimagh, Mayo

•         New World Thai and Chinese Take Away, 275 Glasnevin Avenue, Glasnevin, Dublin 11

Some of the reasons for the Enforcement Orders in November include: A significant number of rodent droppings and gnawed foodstuffs and packaging observed in a shop and store indicating a serious rodent infestation in the premises; rodent droppings noted on the lower shelf of the pre-packaged bread display; gnaw marks evident on the packaging of a loaf of bread.

Others included a number of cockroaches witnessed crawling in food preparation and food storage areas; glue boards in kitchen with multiple dead and live cockroaches; cockroach droppings in food preparation and food storage areas; no hand wash basins.

Other premises were found to have filthy chopping boards in the kitchen engrained with dirt; filthy and worn cleaning equipment being stored in the bin storage area which was also filthy; failure to segregate raw and ready to eat/cooked foods during storage; not declaring nut allergens on the menu; filthy staff uniforms; no hot water, soap, or paper towels provided at wash hand basins; rodent droppings evident in a container storing utensils; refrigerators and freezers showing evidence of rust, mould and dirt.

Commenting today, Dr. Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI said that food businesses must operate strict food safety procedures at all times and that they need to be extra vigilant during this busy time of year.

“Fourteen Enforcement Orders in one month is an unacceptable number. The reasons for the Enforcement Orders having to be served are all easily preventable in the first place and food businesses should not allow their standards to slip.

"All food businesses must ensure that they adhere to a high standard of food safety and hygiene at all times. It is also imperative that a proper pest control system is in place and that this is checked very regularly in order to avoid infestations of rodents and insects."

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