Cork restaurant hit with closure order; food was prepared near staff toilets

Cork restaurant hit with closure order; food was prepared near staff toilets

A CORK restaurant was shut down for a number of days last month due to a lack of ventilation space between a staff toilet and a food storage area, as well as a number of other food safety issues.

According to the Health Service Executive (HSE), there was a risk of food contamination from airborne contaminants at Indian Moon take-away in Douglas, as there was no intervening ventilated lobby between the staff toilet cubicle and the adjacent food storage/processing room.

The HSE said in a report that they had no confidence in the food operator's commitment to food safety management.

Indian Moon at 3A West Douglas, was forced to close from October 17 to 22 due to a number of factors.

A risk of contamination to food and food contact surfaces from staff clothing that was not adequately clean or suitable was another issue highlighted in the report.

Food temperatures not being recorded at delivery, during storage and processing also raised concerns, which the HSE say could have resulted in unsafe foods being served to the public.

In a meeting with two Environmental Health Officers a month prior to the closure order being issued, the business operator said he would engage with a food safety management consultant to assist in developing and implementing a food safety management system on the premises. However, when it was inspected a month later he hadn’t done so.

The HSE also said that Indian Moon did not declare allergens to customers, which poses a serious and unacceptable risk to public health.

Ten Closure Orders in total were served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010, with a further seven under the FSAI Act, 1998 last month.

Some of the reasons for the Enforcement Orders in other businesses include: rodent paw marks present on dusty shelves, gnaw marks found on coffee bean bags, and two dead rats found in a dry goods storeroom.

When management at one business were questioned with regard to two complaints received regarding maggots in fish they could provide no information with regard to traceability of the product or to where the remainder of implicated fish had been disposed of.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland said: “A high number of the Enforcement Orders were associated with issues related to pests and failures in basic staff training. These issues are all preventable and food businesses must ensure that they always adhere to a high standard of food safety and hygiene.

“With the busy Christmas period nearly upon us, food businesses must be especially vigilant to ensure compliance with the law and to protect the health of their customers,” she added.

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