A closure order was served on part of La Cave restaurant in Dublin city centre after rat activity was discovered in a dry-goods storage area.
The order was served on the dry-goods store of the restaurant on South Anne Street by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) on September 29th and has not been lifted.
“Rat activity was noted in the dry-goods store with evidence by means of rat droppings on the shelves and floors behind fridges and freezers,” the closure order stated.
It also said there were “grease smears” on crockery on shelves in the dry-goods store and “gnaw marks and a hole” in the partition wall “creating pest access” into the area.
“There was a lack of routine cleaning in this store,” the order added. “There was a lack of routine maintenance to exclude rats from the premises.”
It said the conditions noted lead to a serious risk of contamination to food and food contact surfaces.
“Rats carry most of the major food poisoning organisms in their gut and because they climb, they are likely to contaminate food, drink, equipment and all areas of the premises,” it said. “Rats also urinate frequently which can contaminate food stocks.”
Closure orders were also served on the food preparation area of Mrs Crogh’s bar in Thurles, Domenico takeaway in Newcastle, Co Tipperary, Johnny’s Grub Hub in Tramore (which has since ceased trading) and a production unit of David Kra retailer in Midleton.
An order was issued on part of J2 Sushi & Bento’s activities in Swords, which has since been lifted.
The closure order for Mrs Crogh’s noted “insufficient work space was available for the preparation, cooking and serving of food”. It added that the construction of the food premises “did not allow for adequate pest control”.
“The roof consisted of a corrugated material and the walls were timber sheets. Gaps were evident in the roof, in the walls and between the wall and the ground, allowing pests easy access to the food preparation areas,” it said.
A prohibition order was issued on Brazucas Market on Parnell Street in Dublin, while two prosecutions were taken by the FSAI and the Health Service Executive in relation to Peter J Lyons in Ratoath, Meath and High Nelly’s pub in Knocklonagad, Carlow, last month.
A prohibition order is issued if the activities – handling, processing, disposal, manufacturing, storage, distribution or selling food – 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.
Dr Pamela Byrne, chief executive of the FSAI, 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. Food businesses also 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,” Dr Byrne said.
“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. ”