Cork restaurant owners ‘devastated’ at temporary safety order closure for Son of a Bun

Proprietors Niall and Amanda O'Regan at the opening of Son of a Bun, Cork, last October.

The proprietors of Cork burger restaurant ‘Son of a Bun’ have said that they are ‘devastated’ by the temporary closure order served upon the business last week.

The order follows a HSE investigation into an outbreak of e.coli in the city, which has identified eight cases in adults to date. The HSE said all affected are currently well.

“A Cork food business has been identified as a common link between the cases,” the HSE confirmed yesterday.

“The investigation has focussed on this business, with the cooperation of the proprietors. The premises remains closed at present.

“The investigation is ongoing. No definitive cause for the outbreak has been found to date, but investigators are satisfied that the outbreak has been brought under control.”

Son of a Bun owners Niall and Amanda O’Regan said it was an issue in relation to “structural issues” with the premises.

However in a statement the couple also revealed that “four staff have tested positive to carrying bacteria linked with e.coli”.

The closure order was served last Wednesday, June 29 and the restaurant was shut over the weekend.

While a notice on the door of the premises cited “necessary construction works” as the cause of the closure, it did not make any reference to the closure order.

However the restaurant yesterday issued a statement confirming it had received the closure order.

“Following a complaint, Son of A Bun restaurant has been working with the FSAI to ensure the integrity and quality of food safety at the premises in Cork,” the statement read.

“A closure notice served by FSAI on Son of A Bun on evening of 29 June in relation to structural issues (layout, storagte, zoning of foodstuffs) on site at the premises.

“While the closure order does not relate to or reference any pathogens or infectious bacteria being present, Son of A Bun and the FSAI undertook a range of investigative measures to identify the source of the complaint.

“Beef samples are voluntarily but rigorously kept for monitoring from each day’s lunch and dinner service. To date, all beef samples from Son of A Bun have tested negative for pathogens including e.coli.

Son of a Bun
Son of a Bun

“While no pathogens were found in the food chain at the restaurant,four staff have tested positive to carrying bacteria linked with e.coli, while not being ill themselves or presenting with any symptoms.”

The restaurant owners said that the business is closed “while a thorough sanitisation is completed and staff will be trained again in food safety and procedures”.

“We are all devastated by this news. It is a really difficult time for all concerned. Of utmost importance is public safety and we are working day and night to resolve this situation,” the statement from the O’Regans said.

When it opened last October, the owners said Son of a Bun was “the only restaurant approved by the HSE to serve burgers cooked pink”.

However a spokesperson for the HSE yesterday said that it does not award approval to restaurants wishing to serve rare or medium-rare burgers.

It is understood that Son of a Bun will no longer serve the ‘pink’ burgers when the MacCurtain St restaurant reopens.

“No approval system exists within the HSE whereby premises would be approved to serve pink burgers,” a spokesperson said.


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