An iconic Cork restaurant was one of a record 23 food outlets forced to close in November over hygiene concerns.
Tony's Bistro, on North Main St in Cork, was ordered to close after an inspection found that food was being prepared and stored in dirty and unhygienic rooms.
Dirt and grease were found on walls, equipment and floors, the ceiling of the main kitchen was yellow with grease and grease was running down the walls.
“Heavy deposits of grease” were also found on cooking equipment.
The restaurant's lack of hygiene may attract pests and risked contaminating food, an inspector from the Health Service Executive (HSE) found.
The closure order was served on November 28, but it was lifted the following day after the restaurant quickly remedied the report's complaints.
A dead rodent was found in the dry goods store of Sajna Exclusive Dining on Bishop Street in Cobh, Co. Cork. The restaurant was closed from November 19 – 23.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) served a record 21 Closure Orders and two Prohibition Orders on food businesses for breaches of food safety legislation - the highest number of Enforcement Orders in one month since the legislation was introduced in 1998.
Evidence of rats, a dead mouse trapped in a kitchen, mouse droppings in a bar and pigeon faeces in a food packing area were some of the problems found in restaurants throughout the country.
A live rodent was seen running towards the food storage and equipment washing area, evidence of cockroaches was found in a kitchen and raw chicken and raw chicken juices were directly contaminating ready-to-eat foods.
High levels of E. coli and coliforms were found in drinking water and ice samples taken from one premises and raw sewage was found on the floor of a customer toilet.
Some of the premises inspected in November remain closed.
Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of the FSAI condemned the record number of food businesses issued with Enforcement Orders in one month.
She said: “November had the highest amount of Enforcement Orders in the one calendar month which the FSAI has seen since the legislation was introduced in 1998.
23 Enforcement Orders over a one-month period is totally unacceptable. The presence of rodents and other pests presents a grave and immediate danger to consumers’ health and food businesses must put in place more robust pest control systems
“With the Christmas period already underway, food businesses must ensure they maintain high food safety standards and I hope in December we see a significant reduction in Enforcement Orders and improving food safety standards.”
Full list of FSAI orders in November:
- New Century Chinese Takeaway, Riverstown, Dundalk, Louth
- Hui Kee (Take Away) (Closed area: Area to the rear of the premises housing coldroom), 52 Bulfin Road Inchicore, Dublin 8
- Vernon Catering (Packer) (Closed area: Packing area of open food in warehouse), Unit C104, Castleforbes Business Park, Sheriff Street Upper, East Wall, Dublin 1
- Sajna Exclusive Dining (Restaurant/ Café), 28/29 Bishop Street, Cobh, Cork
- Apache Pizza (Restaurant/ Café), 58 Dame Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
- Blackchurch Inn (Restaurant/ Café), Naas Road, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin
- Hilan Chinese and Korean BBQ Restaurant (Restaurant/ Café),45 Capel Street, Dublin 1
- The Kitchen (Restaurant/ Café), Emmet Street, Trim, Meath
- Roma Restaurant (Closed Area:- the external area to the rear and side of the premises used for food production and storage), Dundalk Street, Carlingford, Louth
- East Ocean (Take Away), 61 Port Road, Letterkenny, Donegal
- Elita Meats (Small Meat Manufacturing Plant), Unit D4, Dunshaughlin Business Park, Dunshaughlin, Meath
- Tony's Bistro (Restaurant/ Café), 69 North Main Street, Cork
- Capital Turkish Kebab House (Restaurant/ Café), 3 Eglington Street, Galway
- Ballyneety Pizza (Take Away), Ballyneety, Limerick
- Westmanstown Sports Centre (Restaurant/ Café), Westmanstown, Dublin 15
- The Blue Anchor (Restaurant/ Café), Bellurgan Point, Dundalk, Louth
- Tikka Asian Street Food (Restaurant/ Café), Schooner House, South Quay, Wicklow
- Salvetas Take Away and Café (Restaurant/ Café), 4A Church Street, Finglas, Dublin 11
- Khan Spices (Retailer), 84 North Main Street, Cork
- Maliks Tandoori Restaurant (Restaurant/ Café), 1 Lower Pearse Road, Sligo
- The Paragon (Public House) (Closed activity: all activities with the exception of service of hot and cold drinks and prepackaged ready to eat snacks), Main Street, Skibbereen, Cork
Two Prohibition Orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:
· Vernon Catering (Packer), Unit C104, Castleforbes Business Park, Sheriff Street Upper, East Wall, Dublin 1
· Elita Meats (Small Meat Manufacturing Plant), Unit D4, Dunshaughlin Business Park, Dunshaughlin, Meath