One Irish food business was forced to close last month after rodent droppings were found on the floor in the food production area. In total, four closure orders were served on Irish food businesses in January.

Three closure orders were served under the FSAI (Food Safety Authority of Ireland) Act, 1998 to the Hot Spot takeaway on 61 Parnell Street, Limerick; Lamar & Bread Limited (manufacturer) at Unit 28 Nordic Enterprise Park, Midleton, Cork; and Lam Inn takeaway on 386 South Circular Road, Dolphins Barn, Dublin 8.

One closure order was served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010 on Colm Leavy Butchers (Closed activity: The cooking of raw chickens and the hot holding and handling of cooked chickens), 2 Lambs Cross, Sandyford, Dublin 18.

The FSAI said the reasons for the closure orders in January included “serious risks of contamination with pathogenic bacteria relating to the presence of a live rodent in an open section of a wall cavity within a food business and in a second business relating to human excrement overflowing from the food workers’ toilet while the kitchen was in operation”.

It said other reasons for the closure orders in January included rodent droppings on the floor in the food production area, under the front counter and on the floor under the pizza oven.

A “significant build-up of dirt and dried blood” on surfaces and equipment was also a reason for closure, the FSAI said.

There were also two prosecutions by the HSE in relation to Polski Sklep Miesny (grocery) at Elite Business Park, Smithstown, Shannon, Clare, and Costcutters (grocery) at 68B Malahide Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3, the FSAI said.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of the FSAI said: “It is not acceptable that consumers’ or food workers’ health is compromised by inadequate food safety practices in a food business.”

“The legal responsibility for producing safe food lies firmly with food businesses. Food businesses must pay close attention to hygiene standards throughout their entire business operation and ensure that the food they sell to consumers is safe to eat.  Food businesses run the risk of making their customers sick through contaminated food and ruining their reputation with consumers and within the industry by neglecting basic food safety management and hygiene standards .Non-compliances are not tolerated and breaches of food safety legislation are dealt with to the full extent of food law.”