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Food & Drink

12th Jan 2020

Here’s where the dirtiest restaurants were in Ireland in 2019

Darragh Murphy

Dirty restaurant

124 enforcement orders were served on Irish food businesses last year.

That figure represents a 13 per cent increase from 2018; with food inspectors serving 107 closure orders, 4 improvement orders and 13 prohibition orders on Irish food businesses in 2019.

Among the reasons for the various closures were recurring food safety issues such as evidence of rodent activity, filthy food preparation conditions, failure to maintain correct temperature of foodstuffs, staff’s lack of food safety knowledge, unsuitable food food storage facilities and improper water facilities for cleaning, among others.

When you examine the enforcement orders county-by-county, as The Journal did, you can see that Dublin food businesses had the worst record for health and safety issues, which can be somewhat explained by the fact that there are many more restaurants and eateries in the capital than any other county.

The six counties that escaped without any enforcement orders last year were Clare, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Westmeath and Wexford.

Most enforcement orders in 2019:

  • Dublin – 42
  • Meath – 12
  • Cork – 11
  • Louth – 9
  • Limerick – 7
  • Cavan – 6
  • Galway – 6
  • Kerry – 5
  • Monaghan – 5
  • Donegal – 4
  • Kildare – 3
  • Kilkenny – 3
  • Carlow – 2
  • Mayo -2
  • Roscommon – 2
  • Waterford -2
  • Offaly – 1
  • Sligo – 1
  • Tipperary – 1
  • Wicklow – 1

Commenting on the annual figures, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI said: “Enforcements, especially closure orders and prohibition orders, are never served for minor food safety breaches. They are served on food businesses only when a serious risk to consumer health has been identified or where there are a number of ongoing breaches of food legislation that could cause serious hygiene or other operational issues.

“There is no excuse for careless food safety practices. Food inspectors are encountering the same issues time and time again. The typical reasons why enforcement orders have to be served are easily avoidable. While the vast majority of food businesses are compliant with food safety legislation, we still continue to face negligent practices that are potentially putting consumer’s health at risk.

“It is disappointing to see an increase in enforcement orders for the second consecutive year and businesses should take action to prevent the trend continuing into 2020.”