11 food premises were issued with enforcement orders by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) last month for breaches of food safety legislation.
Two establishments in Dublin and one business in Meath, Limerick and Monaghan were ordered to close.
In Co Cavan, a meat manufacturing plant and a factory operating under it were issued with four separate orders. Another meat manufacturing plant in the county was also presented with two orders.
The FSAI listed a variety of reasons for non-compliance with food safety laws, including evidence of rodent droppings in kitchen, bar and carvery areas and meat being cut in a room adjacent to the toilets.
In some of the premises, food hygiene did not meet requirements and there was a lack of confidence in management’s ability to manage food safety.
Elsewhere, raw meat used to make sausages was being held at potentially unsafe temperatures before processing; a sausage production area was found in a generally dirty and unhygienic condition; and chefs could not tell how long raw fish for sushi had been in a freezer.
Here are the full list of enforcement orders issued for May:
Commenting today, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of the FSAI, said that some food businesses are not adequately training their staff in food safety practices, which is leading to unhygienic premises which are putting the consumers' health at risk.
"During the month of May, food inspectors detected numerous serious breaches of food safety legislation. It is not acceptable that any staff in food businesses are failing to demonstrate satisfactory food hygiene knowledge and skills," she said.
"The failure of some food businesses to promote high food safety standards in their premises and among their staff has the potential to cause a serious risk to consumer health, which has been identified in this month’s enforcements. Food businesses must act responsibly to prevent these serious breaches of food legislation.”
"Non-compliance of food safety legislation by food businesses will not be tolerated and will be dealt with to the full extent of the law,” she said.
Under the FSAI Act, 1998, a Closure Order is served where it is deemed that there is or there is likely to be a grave and immediate danger to public health at or in the premises or where an Improvement Order is not complied with.
Under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010, Closure Orders and Prohibition Orders are served where there is a non-compliance with food legislation.
An Improvement Order may be issued by the District Court if an Improvement Notice is not complied with within a defined period. Further non-compliance can result in a Closure Order also being served.
A Prohibition Order is issued if the activities (handling, processing, disposal, manufacturing, storage, distribution or selling food) involve or are likely to involve a serious risk to public health from a particular product, class, batch or item of food. The effect is to prohibit the sale of the product, either temporarily or permanently.
Further information on the Enforcement Orders is published on the FSAI’s website at https://www.fsai.ie/