Four Irish food businesses were served with closure orders in September
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Four closure orders and one prohibition order were served on Irish food businesses during September, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).
The enforcement orders were issued for breaches of food safety legislation, pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998 and the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020 by environmental health officers in the HSE and officers of the FSAI.
Two closure orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:
- La Cave Restaurant (Area closed: dry goods store of La Cave Restaurant), 28 Anne Street, Dublin 2 (issued on 29/09/2021)
- David Kra (Production Unit) (retailer), Unit 25, Midleton Enterprise Park, Dwyers Road, Midleton, Cork (issued on 17/09/2021)
Two closure orders were also served under the EU regulations on:
- Mrs Crogh's Bar (Closed Area: The food preparation area: preparation, cooking and service of food), 4 Parnell Street, Thurles, Tipperary (issued on 24/09/2021)
- Domenico Take Away, Newcastle, Tipperary (issued on 08/09/2021 and lifted on 23/09/2021)
One prohibition order, meanwhile, was served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:
- Brazuca Market, 145 Parnell Street, Dublin 1 (issued on 06/09/2021 and lifted on 16/09/2021)
Also, during the month of September, two prosecutions were taken by the FSAI and the HSE in relation to:
- Peter J Lyons, Ratoath, Meath (date of hearing: 24/09/2021, date of offence: 24/02/2020)
- High Nelly's Pub, Knocklonagad, Garryhill, Carlow (date of hearing: 02/09/2021, date of offence: 07/02/2020)
Under the FSAI Act, 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.
Under the EU regulations, closure orders are served where there is a non-compliance with food legislation.
Closure orders can refer to the immediate closure of all or part of the food premises, or all or some of its activities.
The orders may be lifted when the premises has improved to the satisfaction of the authorised officer.
A prohibition order is issued under the FSAI Act if the activities of a food business involve or are likely to involve a serious risk to public health from a particular product, class, batch or item of food.
The effect is to prohibit the sale of the product, either temporarily or permanently.
Among the reasons for the enforcement orders in September include flies noted throughout the premises, mice faeces noted in a room used to store burger buns, a build-up of food debris and grease, a poor standard of personal hygiene by a food handler, raw foods being stored above cooked foods in a fridge, food being stored at unsafe temperatures, no evidence of regular hand washing and no pest control systems being in place.
"Completely inadequate food preparation surfaces; no facilities for disinfecting of crockery or utensils; food was wrapped in a freezer with a dead insect on its wrapping; food was being prepared cooked and served in an area where timber was also being chopped with an axe; a food worker had not received any training in food hygiene matters; a failure to provide traceability documentation," were other reasons listed.
Chief Executive of the FSAI Dr Pamela Byrne said it is a "continuous disappointment" that each month food inspectors find serious non-compliances in food businesses that can put consumers’ health at risk.
"Businesses failed to comply with food safety, hygiene and proper food storage and handling standards that are in place to protect consumers’ health," she said.
"Food businesses... need to ensure that their premises have the right food safety management procedures in place to ensure pest control and best hygiene practice at all times”.
“Also, it is the responsibility of all food business owners to ensure that their food business is registered and operating in line with the legal requirements under food law. Failure to do so will not be tolerated.
"This was evident in September where a prosecution was taken in relation to an unregistered food business involved in the transportation of beef. It followed an investigation by the FSAI in conjunction with veterinary inspectors from Offaly County Council, South Dublin County Council, Meath County Council and Longford County Council."