The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has issued its latest report of closure orders on food businesses.
During the month of November, three closure orders were issued for breaches of food safety legislation.
The enforcement orders were issued by environmental health officers in the Health Service Executive (HSE).
The closure orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:
- Iceland Stores Ireland Limited (retailer), Unit 1, Gorey Retail Park, Courtown Road, Gorey, Wexford
Canteen operated by Get Fresh (Vending) Ltd, T/A Get Fresh Catering (Closed Area: Dining area, front servery, rear wash up/dry goods store and rear food preparation room), Beaufort College, Trim Road, Navan, Co. Meath
AD Cash and Carry (Wholesaler/ Distributor), Unit 3/4, St. James Industrial Park, Kylemore Way, Inchicore, Dublin 8
A report on the Iceland store found "prolific evidence of rodent droppings observed on and below shelving where foodstuffs i.e. crisps and biscuits were stored in the shop floor area."
It also said there was evidence of "gnawing to the packaging of numerous multi-pack packets of crisps on the shelving for sale in the shop floor area."
Pieces of gnawed crisps packaging were also seen amongst rodent droppings on the shelving in the shop floor area.
The report said there was evidence of "gnawing to numerous individual packets of crisps within multi-packs of crisps for sale."
"Upon further examination, rodent droppings were observed within the packaging of the multi-packs of crisps and within the individual packets of crisps in the multi-packs."
At the canteen operated by Get Fresh, the FSAI said: " There is a current heavy mouse infestation in the canteen.
"A significant amount of fresh mouse droppings were found on food contact surfaces, on food equipment, on cleaning equipment, on food packaging and on crockery."
It also said there was evidence of gnawing found on food packaging.
While at the AD Cash and Carry listed above, the FSAI said: "A significant number of rodent droppings were found throughout the premises on the ground floor and upper floor".
It said some droppings were also found "directly on food packaging and directly adjacent on pallets/shelving".
Commenting on the orders served, FSAI chief executive Dr Pamela Byrne said food businesses must prioritise food safety in their businesses, particularly in the lead up to Christmas.
"The three closure orders in November cited inadequate procedures in pest control which resulted in evidence of rodents in all three premises.
"This is not acceptable in any food business at any time, as it poses a serious risk to public health.
"Food businesses need to ensure that their premises has the right food safety management procedures in place to ensure pest control at all times.
"Also, with the busy Christmas season well underway, food businesses must ensure that they can cope with the extra customer demand and must recognise the main food safety risk factors that can cause foodborne illness and are easily preventable."
Details of the food businesses served with enforcement orders are published on the FSAI’s website