Part of the Hairy Lemon closed for two days over food safety concerns

The Hairy Lemon in Dublin

Sarah Stack

Part of a popular Dublin nightspot was closed for two days in the run up to Christmas by environmental chiefs.

The basement of the Hairy Lemon on Stephen Street Lower was served with a closure order on December 17th.

The public house was among six businesses rapped for breaching food safety legislation last month.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) said figures show there was a 21pc drop in the number of food premises hit with enforcement orders last year, with 113 firms reprimanded.

However it warned enforcement officers will not hold back in taking swift action against any food business that fail to meet standards.

“There can be no room for complacency when it comes to food safety,” said Prof Alan Reilly, FSAI Chief Executive.

“Every Enforcement Order is one too many and serves as a warning that food businesses need to be vigilant at all times to ensure full compliance with food regulations.”

The FSAI said four of the enforcement orders issued last month were by environmental health officers in the Health Service Executive, and two were by local authority veterinary inspectors in Mayo County Council.

Closure orders were served on the Hairy Lemon (basement only); Herterich & Sons Pork Butcher (cutting plant), Mill Street, Westport, Mayo; Mary Merritt (bakery/confectionary), Kilmacombe, Dunmore East, Waterford; and Redz Chinese Restaurant and Takeaway in West Street, Drogheda, Louth.

Environmental chiefs warn that closure orders are only 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.

Prohibition orders were also served on Belmont Organic Venison, Carrabawn, Westport, Mayo, and L&M Store, Anne Street, Dundalk, Co Louth.

All orders have since been lifted on the Hairy Lemon, Redz Chinese Restaurant and L&M Store.

Prof O’Reilly said: “While most food businesses follow high standards and are compliant with food safety legislation, we continue to encounter cases where consumers’ health is jeopardised through a lack of compliance.

“This is unacceptable and will be met with the full rigors of the law.”