'Filthy' | 

Exposed: Four Irish restaurants shut down as ‘live rats’ and ‘rodent droppings’ found

Some of the businesses were deemed to be in a “filthy condition”

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Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Four food businesses were hit with closure orders by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) last month.

Some of the businesses were deemed to be in a “filthy condition” with live rodents spotted on the premises and rat droppings found near food preparation areas.

Closure orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on Zing by Chaska in Dublin 1, Superfruit in The English Market, Cork, and Bamboo Foods Ltd in Letterkenny, Donegal.

A further closure order was served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020 on Doson in Dublin 1.

Zing by Chaska was ordered to close after rodent droppings were seen on the floor near the food preparation area in the kitchen, which posed a “serious risk of food being contaminated with pathogenic bacteria”.

The inspector said that the kitchen was “found to be in a filthy condition” and was not “pest proofed”.

Superfruit in Cork city was hit with a closure order after “extensive rodent droppings” could be seen on the shop floor while products on sale also appeared to have been gnawed by pests.

The inspector said that the evidence presented a “grave and immediate danger to public health”.

Bamboo Foods Ltd was ordered to close due to a lack of adequate pest control measures.

The inspector said that “live rats were sighted” in the business’ rear yard and “fresh droppings were sighted” inside the restaurant.

They added that there was a “serious risk” of food being contaminated with harmful bacteria, which would make it unfit for human consumption or injurious to human health.

Doson received a closure order due to the “filthy condition” of the premises, as well as the “very poor standard of basic hygiene and cleanliness observed”.

The inspector reported that rat droppings were found in the Dublin takeaway’s food storage area in the basement and noted the poor condition of the basement, which had an “uneven and crumbling” floor and a cracked wall with pieces missing.

The report added that Doson’s food handlers “did not have adequate training in food hygiene and lacked knowledge of temperature control, pest control and cleaning".

In a statement, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of the FSAI stressed the importance of vigorous pest control systems in food businesses.

“These Closure Orders demonstrate the importance of regular and consistent checks by businesses to ensure safe food practices are in place and adhered to in the interest of protecting consumer health,” she said.

“It is disappointing to see a number of these enforcement orders relating to the presence of rodents on the premises. Ensuring food is free of contamination includes putting robust pest control systems in place and also training/supervising staff appropriately.

“It must also be noted that summer is a particularly busy time of year for many food businesses, and it is critical that businesses have the necessary systems in place to account for both the increase in customers and temperatures. Food bacteria can multiply quickly in warm weather and food businesses must ensure food is stored correctly.”

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