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17th Apr 2023

10 Irish food businesses were served with closure orders in March

Stephen Porzio

One of the places hit with a closure order was a rugby club.

10 closure orders and one prohibition order were served on Irish food businesses during March 2023, 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.

Four closure orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:

  • La Punk Beauty Hair Salon, 19 Henry Place, Dublin 1 (Date served: 23/03/2023)
  • Mullingar Farm Meats, Unit 9, Cookstown Business Centre, Cookstown Industrial Estate, Tallaght, Dublin 24 (Date served: 22/03/2023)
  • Mizzoni Pizza Café, 31 Irish Street, Ardee, Louth (Date served: 21/03/2023 – Date lifted: 30/03/2023)
  • Daisy’s Grill (take away), Callan House, Newtown Avenue, Malahide Road Industrial Park, Dublin 17 (Date served: 03/03/2023 – Date lifted: 08/03/2023)

Six closure orders were served under the EU regulations on:

  • Portarlington RFC, Lea Road, Portarlington, Laois (Date served: 30/03/2023)
  • Market Street Foodhalls (Closed activities: activities relating to the production and processing of any products of animal origin), Unit 7G Swords Business Park, Swords, Co. Dublin (Date served: 23/03/2023)
  • Sparkles Cocktail, 81 River Mill View, Navan, Meath (Date served: 23/03/2023)
  • Union Café (Closed activities: operations from the kitchen only. The serving of beverages from the bar area is not affected by this closure order), 68 Deerpark Road, Mount Merrion, Co. Dublin (Date served: 22/03/2023 – Date lifted: 25/03/2023)
  • Sushi Mood (operated from a domestic kitchen), Grange Rath, Drogheda, Meath (Date served: 15/03/2023)
  • Johnson Best Food African Take Away, 86 Summerhill, Dublin 1 (Date served: 13/03/2023 – Date lifted 06/04/2023).

Meanwhile, one prohibition order was served under the EU regulations, 2020 on:

  • Johnson Best Food African Take Away, 86 Summerhill, Dublin 1 (Date served: 13/03/2023)

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 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.

Meanwhile, under the EU regulations, prohibition orders are issued if there is non-compliance with food legislation by a food business operator relating to a particular consignment, class, batch or item of food. The effect is to prohibit the sale of the product, either temporarily or permanently.

According to the FSAI, some of the reasons for enforcement orders in March include the following:

“A food business operating from a barber shop with no facilities for maintaining hygiene and protecting the food; unregistered food business; a lack of labelling and traceability information regarding frozen fish heads, cow skin and unidentifiable meat; frozen fish stored in a malfunctioning freezer; a live cockroach infestation was observed in the kitchen; a dead rat was spotted in an open drain in the food and packaging store and overall inadequate pest control procedures and preventative measures taken; rodent droppings spotted on premises and on an opened tub of hot chocolate powder; an open container of lettuce was stored directly below an open container of raw fish; no water supply in premises, with no method to wash equipment or food; likely contamination of ready-to-eat food with raw meat; insufficient protection of foodstuffs from contact with toxic materials; inadequate cleaning practices and a lack of hand washing facilities.”

Commenting on the orders last month, the FSAI’s Chief Executive Dr Pamela Byrne said that some businesses failed to follow basic food safety legislation and that a number of food businesses were found to be unregistered.

She explained:

“Food law requires all food businesses to be notified to the relevant inspection authority prior to operating. This requirement ensures that food businesses are registered and/or approved to ensure food safety and protect consumer health. Maintaining a clean premises that is fit for purpose, managing pest control, properly labelling produce and providing traceability information are also legal and mandatory requirements for all food businesses.

“Consumers have a right to safe food and the food business owner is legally responsible for ensuring that the food they produce is safe to eat. All food businesses must follow food safety regulations and there are no exceptions. If a food business is unsure about their legal requirements, they should consult their Environmental Health Officer, veterinary inspector or contact the FSAI Advice Line.”

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