Sunday 22 July 2018

Cockroach and rat infestations among reasons for food business closures

The Food Safety Authority report for September reveals some shocking findings


Sean Nolan

Ten premises were closed by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) last month, with one restaurant found to have a cockroach infestation, while a city centre shop was found to have an infestation of rats.

The FSAI monthly report has, for the first time, included the details and reasons behind the issuing of closure orders.

Previously only general information was available but the report published today details that a restaurant and cafe was closed from September 26 until October 6 after an inspector found a cockroach infestation on the premises.

"Live nymph and adult cockroaches were found along with cockroach egg casings" the inspection report reads.

A shop was also closed from September 27 to September 28 after a "significant rodent infestation" was found by an inspector which included rat droppings on the shop floor.

Commenting today, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive said that the FSAI was now in a position to make available the full details of the Orders served on food businesses.

"The FSAI has been publishing the names of food businesses served Enforcement Orders for over a decade," she said.

"Our systems and processes now enable us to provide additional information which is in line with our objective to increase transparency as a regulator and to raise food safety and hygiene standards in food businesses.

"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.

"We believe this initiative will help to dispel any misinformation regarding the reasons why Enforcement Orders are served and will also let other food businesses know some of the things to avoid in their premises.

"There were ten Closure Orders served on food businesses in September and common non-compliances are filthy conditions and poor hygiene. Some of the specific reasons the Orders were served this month include: evidence of rodent infestation; failure to maintain temperatures of foodstuffs; filthy conditions with aged dirt and debris; unsuitable food storage facilities; evidence of extensive cockroach infestation; and raw chicken stored on a dirty floor," concludes Dr Byrne.

Under the FSAI Act, 1998, a Closure Order is served where it is deemed that there is or there is likely to be a grave and immediate danger to public health at or in the premises; or where an Improvement Order is not complied with. Closure Orders can refer to the immediate closure of all or part of the food premises, or all or some of its activities.

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