Canteen and supermarket hit with closure orders
A school canteen, a grocery store and a food distribution facility were all issued with closure orders last month after inspectors found evidence of rodent infestation.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) yesterday reported that the closure orders, which have all since been lifted, were served due to the potential threat to public health.
During an inspection of the Iceland Stores Ireland Ltd premises at the Gorey Retail Park in Gorey, Co Wexford, on November 15, inspectors found "prolific evidence of rodent droppings" on and below shelving where crisps and biscuits were stored on the shop floor area.
"There was evidence of gnawing to the packaging of numerous multi-pack packets of crisps on the shelving for sale in the shop floor area," the inspection report states.
"Pieces of gnawed crisps packaging were observed amongst rodent droppings on the shelving in the shop floor area.
"There was evidence of gnawing to numerous individual packets of crisps within multi-packs of crisps for sale. Upon further examination, rodent droppings were observed within the packaging of the multi-packs of crisps and within the individual packets of crisps in the multi-packs."
The inspector noted the non-compliances with food safety standards "presented a grave and immediate danger to public health and the risk of contamination of foods with pathogenic bacteria and foreign matter". The closure order was lifted on November 23.
The canteen at Beaufort College in Navan, Co Meath, operated by Get Fresh Vending Ltd, was also issued with a closure order on November 10 after inspectors found inadequate pest control procedures to deal with "a current heavy mouse infestation in the canteen".
"A significant amount of fresh mouse droppings were found on food contact surfaces, on food equipment, on cleaning equipment, on food packaging and on crockery. Evidence of gnawing was found on food packaging. This is likely to lead to a grave and immediate danger to public health," the inspector noted. The order was lifted on November 15.
The food distribution centre AD Cash and Carry, located at the St James Industrial Park on Kylemore Way in Inchicore, Dublin, was also issued with a closure order on November 6 after inspectors found "a significant number of rodent droppings" throughout the premises as well as "rodents found on inspection". The order was lifted on November 14.
The businesses cited for breaches of food safety legislation have all rectified the problems that led to the temporary closures.
However, Dr Pamela Byrne, chief executive of the FSAI, said inadequate pest control is unacceptable "at any time". She reminded all food service operators of their legal obligations towards food safety, especially in the run-up to Christmas.