The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has reported that seven Closure Orders were served on food businesses during November 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. The Enforcement Orders were issued by Environmental Health Officers in the HSE.

Some of the reasons for the Closure Orders in November include: adequate procedures were not in place to deal with pests gaining entry to the premises; a dead mouse was found in a trap underneath shelving used for storing food and equipment at the rear kitchen and fresh mouse droppings were also noted in this area; pest proofing issues such as holes and gaps were observed which is permitting pests gain access to the food business; evidence of current rodent activity in the kitchen area and counter service; no washbasin designated for the washing of hands was available; food handlers were observed not washing their hands during the inspection.

Commenting on the Closure Orders served in November, FSAI Chief Executive Dr Pamela Byrne said it is a legal requirement for all food businesses to have a robust food safety management system in place that also ensures a high level of pest control.

She added: “Environmental Health Officers are continuously finding incidents of rodent and pest infestations. This is a failure of a food safety management system, which is put in place to ensure food safety and hygiene. Consumers have a right to safe food and all food businesses have a legal obligation to ensure that the food they are processing, serving or selling is safe to eat.

“With the Christmas period already underway, food businesses must ensure they maintain high food safety standards at all times.”

Details of the food businesses served with Enforcement Orders are published on the FSAI’s website. Closure Orders and Improvement Orders will remain listed in the enforcement reports on the website for a period of three months from the date of when a premises is adjudged to have corrected its food safety issue, with Prohibition Orders being listed for a period of one month.

If you require Food Safety/HACCP training for your staff, a Food Safety/HACCP system specifically designed for your food business or Food Safety advice, please contact SafeHands.