Some grim discoveries made by the FSAI last month.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has confirmed that ten closure orders and two prohibition orders were served on Irish food businesses during June 2023.
The 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.
Five closure orders were served under the FSAI Act on:
- Shi Wang Yun (restaurant/café), 106 Parnell Street, Dublin 1 (Date served: 27/06/2023)
- Iceland Ireland, Unit 4, Bargaintown Complex, Greencastle Retail Park, Malahide Road, Coolock (Date served: 20/06/2023)
- Lynn's Pantry (foods of non-animal origin processing), Backwood, Cloneygowan, Tullamore, Offaly (Date served: 16/06/2023)
- Discoveryland Crèche & Montessori, 14 Newlands, Wexford (Date served: 13/06/2023 / Date lifted: 19/06/2023)
- The Music Café, Grattan House, 1 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2 (Date served: 08/06/2023 / Date lifted: 21/06/2023)
And five closure orders were served under the EU regulations on:
- Into the West (public house) (Closed activities: operations from the kitchen only. The serving of beverages from the bar area is not affected by this closure order), Sheepwalk, Frenchpark, Roscommon (Date served: 23/06/2023 / Date lifted: 27/06/2023)
- Mizzonis Pizza Café, Unit 4, Sentinel Building, Adamstown, Lucan, Co. Dublin (Date served: 19/06/2023 / Date lifted: 30/06/2023)
- Wok on Inn (Closed activities of the business trading as Wok on Inn), 16 Amiens Street, Dublin 1 (Date served: 15/06/2023 / Date lifted: 21/06/2023)
- Chef Kebab (take away), Castle Street, Roscommon (Date served: 09/06/2023 / Date lifted: 12/06/2023)
- J2 Sushi, Unit 3, Food Court, Jervis Shopping Centre, Mary Street, Dublin 1 (Date served: 08/06/2023 / Date lifted: 16/06/2023)
The two prohibition orders were served under the EU regulations on:
- Iceland Ireland, 6th Floor, South Bank House, Barrow Street House, Dublin 4 (Date served: 21/06/2023)
- OnlyFish! (take away), 4 Manor Lane, Ovens, Cork (Date served: 02/06/2023)
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 June include the following:
"A history of rodent activity with droppings found near fruit juice intended for children; open, ready-to-eat foods such as fresh lettuce suspected as having come into contact with rodents, with a likely risk of Salmonella; heavy cockroach activity in the kitchen, with dozens of live cockroaches spotted moving around food preparation areas, on the walls, floors, fridges, and inside food storage containers; a lack of adequate traceability systems and procedures for all products, undermining consumer safety; a failure to maintain the cold chain with insufficient fridge space to safely store high risk foods such as cooked rice and pasta; rodent droppings noted in the service area and near food storage; risk of cross contamination with ready-to-eat food such as smoked salmon stored next to raw food such as chicken and pork chops; and inadequate ventilation throughout the premises, evident by the large build-up of mould on the walls, ceilings and external doors."
Commenting on the enforcement orders, Chief Executive of the FSAI, Dr Pamela Byrne, said that any food business found to be failing its legal food safety and hygiene requirements will face the rigours of the law.
“When a food business fails to combat pest infestations, maintain the cold chain, or provide sufficient traceability information for food products on their premises, they are putting the health of their customers and staff at risk," she stated.
"Cross-contamination of foods has also been an issue with food businesses this month and this is not unacceptable. While inspectors are available to answer questions and provide guidance, they have a duty to protect public health and will issue enforcement orders when businesses contravene the expected food safety standards.
"Consumers have a right to safe food and we call on all food businesses to ensure they are fulfilling this requirement on a daily basis."