| 6.5°C Dublin

Dead rat, cockroaches and sewage found in food outlets


Quinn’s pub in Drumcondra: closed after for two days after a dead rat and sewage were found on the cellar floor

Quinn’s pub in Drumcondra: closed after for two days after a dead rat and sewage were found on the cellar floor

Quinn’s pub in Drumcondra: closed after for two days after a dead rat and sewage were found on the cellar floor

A rat, sewage, dirty toilet paper and cockroach infestations were among the unsavoury discoveries at Irish food businesses in 2014.

Health inspectors took action against dozens of restaurants, pubs, shops and manufacturing facilities that were posing a threat to public health this year - and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information act reveal the grimy reasons why.

Landmark Dublin pub Quinn's in Drumcondra was served with a closure order on September 8 - two days after the All-Ireland hurling final, when it would have been packed with sports fans - when a dead rat was found on the floor of the cellar.

Rat droppings and dry sewage were also found on the cellar floor, where foodstuffs such as bottled drinks were stored.

A prohibition order banning the sale of these items was also imposed because of a serious risk they had been contaminated by rats or raw sewage.

Surfaces in the back bar were also filthy, with filth, grime and bottle tops on the floor, while there was dried sewage waste, such as pieces of toilet tissue, on the main cellar floor.

"Dirty toilet paper from overflowed sewage is evident on a manhole cover in the main cellar and at other locations," the report stated.

Meanwhile, door seals on the bottle fridges were "in an appalling condition and many are covered in extensive mould growth", it said.

The closure order was lifted on September 10 after the problems were rectified.

Juicing company Pure Green Juice received a closure order on November 7 because of a litany of problems at its Blanchardstown factory, where it processes fruit and vegetable juices for health-conscious consumers who want to detox.

These problems included mouse droppings on the mezzanine level of the premises and food splatters on the wall, the environmental health officer reported.

"There is an open gridded staircase over the food wash sink increasing the risk of debris, including faecal matter, falling from an individual's shoes onto food in the sink" the report said.

Food handlers were not trained or supervised adequately in hygiene, as seen by the use of damaged equipment and the failure to disinfect, or even wash, all fruit and vegetables that were going into raw ready-to-drink products, the report states.

A significant number of plastic storage containers were very damaged and bottle tops were stored in a crate lined with a bin bag, with a chipped mug used to dispense bulk ingredients.

The closure order on the premises in Millennium Business Park, Dublin 15 was lifted on November 10 when the problems were rectified.

An infestation of cockroaches led to a closure order being imposed on Akash restaurant in Blackrock, Co Dublin on August 7, which was lifted on August 22.

Live and dead cockroaches were seen in the bin, with a live cockroach spotted walking across the over-counter refrigeration unit.

Unhygienic food practices were also observed, such as allowing frozen chicken to thaw overnight on a draining board, storing raw and cooked chicken on the same shelf, and failing to keep full records, including use-by dates for certain products.

In Kilcoran Lodge Hotel in Cahir, Co Tipperary, significantly raised levels of E. coli bacteria were found in mashed potato and cooked vegetables, with cooked foods stored in plastic containers which had held raw chicken.

A closure order was imposed on the hotel on September 5 - though the sale and service of drinks from the bar was excluded from this.

The order was lifted four days later.