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Donegal cafe closed over food safety dangers

A cafe premises at the Raphoe Mart in Donegal was one of seven food businesses to receive closure orders in May.

The Mart Cafe was hit with a closure order by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland on May 6th over a series of unsafe practices.

A report detailed ‘filthy’ surfaces, dirty fridges, refuse lying around the kitchen and contamination risks from flies.

The closure order served on occupier Lynda Hamilton required that the entire premises be closed.

An inspection at the cafe found that the premises was not kept clean. “This was evidenced by accumulations of food debris, grease and encrusted dirt on floor surfaces, wall surfaces and shelving,” the order said.

Also, the ventilation canopy and grease filters were filthy with grease. The interiors of both fridges were dirty, the seals of fridges were full of food debris.

The inspector noted that there was no hot water, no facilities for hand washing in the staff toilet, and no surface cleaning chemicals available on the premises.

Ready to eat foods were found thawed overnight at room temperature at the cafe. “A temperature of 17.9C was recorded in these foods, giving rise to the risk of growth of pathogenic micro-organisms and/or the formation of toxins in the foods,” the order said. Pre-made food was also stored improperly and flies were evident in the kitchen, giving rise to contamination risks.

The closure order also found a serious non-compliance regarding allergy labelling: “The food business operator made food available for sale or supply without indicating written particulars of any allergen in the food at (a) the
point of presentation (b) the point of sale, or (c) the point of supply. There was therefore a risk of possible presence of undeclared allergens in food which has the potential to cause a life threatening allergic reaction.”

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today reported that seven Closure Orders and one Prohibition Order were served on food businesses during the month of May.

Commenting today, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI, said that it is disappointing to see such disregard for consumer health in these food businesses.

“It is simply unacceptable that some food businesses across Ireland continue to operate without fully adhering to food safety and hygiene legislation. In particular, multiple occurrences in Enforcement Orders issued in May show a complete lack of adequate procedures in place to control pests. Consumers of food in Ireland have a right to safe food and hygienic food premises.

“As we move into warmer summer months, it is disappointing to note that some food businesses are also inadequately monitoring their electric fly killers, and in some cases are preparing food directly beneath leading to a risk of possible contamination. The health of consumers must never be put at risk, and we urge food businesses not to be so careless.”