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Safety watchdog closes mart canteen over 14 non-compliance issues

FSAI closes Mart Café

Mart Café at Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal, was among the businesses that the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) closed during May 2022.

An authorised officer of the Health Service Executive under the FSAI issued the closure order after forming the opinion “that there is or is likely to be a grave and immediate danger to the public health at, in or on the premises”.

In a letter to the FBO, the officer flagged fourteen non-compliance issues.

Firstly, the officer noted that the premises were not kept clean, as “evidenced by accumulations of food debris, grease, and encrusted dirt on floor surfaces, wall surfaces, and shelving”.

Also, there were accumulations of grease and food debris encrusted on cookers.

Furthermore, the officer said the ventilation canopy and grease filters were “filthy with grease”. Moreover, the interiors of both fridges were “dirty”, and the seals of fridges were “full of food debris”.

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They noted that there was no hot water at any of the sinks on the premises. Furthermore, there were no surface cleaning chemicals available on the premises.

Also, the hot holding unit was broken. Besides, the officer recorded a temperature of 39.9oC for these foods, giving rise to the risk of the growth of pathogenic micro-organisms and/or the formation of toxins in the foods.

Temperatures and flies at Mart Café

A wash hand basin had not been provided in the staff toilet; therefore, facilities and materials for hygienic washing and drying hands were not provided.

According to the documentation, the officer found ready-to-eat foods thawed overnight at room temperature.

They recorded a temperature of 17.9oC in these foods giving rise to the risk of growth of pathogenic micro-organisms and/or the formation of toxins in the foods.

The officer noted that flies were evident in the kitchen, giving rise to contamination risks and the UV insectocuter was unplugged.

Contamination and allergens 

In a letter, the officer highlighted: “There was a risk of contamination of food due to the lack of hand wash facilities for food workers.

“This risk is compounded due to the provision of one hand sink for food workers in the corridor from the mart that is also used by customers prior to entering the canteen.”

“Refuse was allowed to accumulate throughout the premises. A substantial amount of food waste and refuse was noted on shelving, within sinks, on top of equipment, lying on floors throughout the kitchen.”

Furthermore, the officer said the FBO made food available for sale or supply without indicating written particulars of any allergen in the food at the point of presentation, sale or supply.

“There was, therefore, a risk of the possible presence of undeclared allergens in food which has the potential to cause a life-threatening allergic reaction,” the officer noted in its letter to the FBO.

The safety watchdog issued closure orders and one prohibition order to food businesses during the month of May 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.

Environmental health officers in the Health Service Executive (HSE) issued the enforcement orders.

Closure orders 

Other closure orders under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:

  • Go Go Pizza and Kebab, Whitemill Road, Wexford;
  • Pygmalion Public House, Unit 19, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, William Street South, Dublin 2;
  • HG Ritchie Limited (manufacturer), Jamestown Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8.

Three closure orders under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020 on:

  • Sillis Green Veg (Closed activities: The use of sodium metabisulphite in the dipping process and production of foodstuffs), Sillis, Glaslough, Co. Monaghan
  • Milne Foods Limited (Closed activities: processing of all ready-to-eat foods on the premises), Syngefield Industrial Estate, Birr, Co. Offaly
  • Golden Beach Supermarket (Closed Activities: The preparation and serving of food in the ground floor kitchen and service area. The slicing and/or packing of food products in basement storeroom), 137 Parnell Street, Dublin 1

One prohibition order under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020 on:

  • Bullet Duck & Dumpling (restaurant/café), 27 Mary Street Little, Dublin 7
Food safety concerns 

According to the FSAI, some of the reasons for enforcement orders in May include:

  • A lack of adequate procedures in place to control pests with live rodents and droppings spotted;
  • High-risk food such as beef, chicken and pork dishes at temperatures that were likely to result in a health risk;
  • Food debris;
  • Encrusted dirt and grease on floor surfaces;
  • Wall surfaces and shelving;
  • No hot water in any sinks on the premises;
  • A lack of allergen information; following sampling;
  • Listeria monocytogenes detected in some ready-to-eat foods;
  • An electric fly killer full of dead insects was located directly above a production line;
  • No evidence of a food safety management system in place.
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