THE FOOD SAFETY Authority of Ireland (FSAI) last month served four enforcement orders on food businesses during the month of January for breaches of food safety laws.

Two businesses were ordered to temporarily close while two prohibition orders were served. Prohibition orders ban a premises from selling a certain product, either temporarily or permanently. 

Spiceland (fishmonger), Unit 1, Green Isle Park, Port Road, Ballyraine, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal was ordered to close due to what the FSAI described as an “immediate and grave danger” to the public’s health.

According to the enforcement order, there was widespread evidence of a mouse infestation throughout the premises.

“Mouse droppings were found in the retail, storage and delivery areas of the shop. There was evidence of damage by mice to food and food packaging on the premises. On the evidence noted above there is or is likely to be a grave and immediate danger to health. The conditions noted could lead to a serious risk of food being contaminated with pathogenic bacteria likely to render the food unfit for human consumption,” the order read.

Happy Valley Chinese Take-Away, 3 Main Street, Duleek, Meath was also ordered to close for similar reasons. 

However, on this occasion, a live rodent was observed in the kitchen. 

The report added: “Adequate procedures were not in place to control pests. A live rodent was observed in the kitchen. Evidence of rodent activity may pose a risk of exposed food and food contact surfaces becoming contaminated with pathogenic bacteria which may render foodstuffs unsafe resulting in a risk to health.”

In Dublin, World of Spices, 12 Talbot Street was issued with a prohibition order following an inspection. 

The prohibition refers to Deshi Sweets Dohi which were stored in plastic containers. 

The reason for the order included inadequate traceability as well as failures to provide allergen information. 

As a result, the FSAI issued an order banning the sale of these specific items. 

The premises occupied by Antanas Damarodas at Lacken, Latton, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan was also hit with a prohibition notice. 

The business was ordered to remove certain meat products with immediate effect. This was due to the fact that the origin of the meat on the premises could not be ascertained and that the meat was being stored on an unregistered and unapproved premises.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI, said that every food business must have a robust food safety management system in place.

“To ensure food safety and hygiene, every food business is required by law to have a robust food safety management system and to also ensure that this system is working properly.

“While the majority of those inspected have adequate procedures in place, the fact that Environmental Health Officers continue to find incidents of rodents and pest infestations in some food businesses highlights that a food safety management system is not working. Consumers have a right to safe food and food businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure that it is safe to eat.”

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