A Letterkenny takeaway was slapped with a temporary closure order in July after live rats and fresh droppings were found on the premises.
The award-winning Bamboo Foods at Station Roundabout Letterkenny was served with the closure order by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) after an inspection in July. The order was lifted 12 days later after a follow-up inspection.
The inspector reported shocking breaches of food safety monitoring, which they said led to “unsafe food being produced and sold”.
Live rats were sighted in the rear yard of the takeaway and fresh droppings were seen inside the business, according to the report.
The inspector said the lack of adequate pest control posed “serious risks of food being contaminated with pathogens, bacteria likely to render the foot unfit for human consumption, injurious to health or contaminated in a way that would be unreasonable to expect it to be consumed in this state.”
The closure order was issued to owner Cindy Yee Look on 15th July. Closure Orders refer to the immediate closure of all or part of the food premises, or all or some of its activities. The order can be lifted when the premises has improved to the satisfaction of the authorised officer.
The case at Bamboo Foods is one of four Closure Orders and eight Prohibition Orders served on food businesses during the month of July 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.
Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI has emphasised the importance of vigorous pest control systems, which should be facilitated across all food businesses in Ireland. She also stressed that particular attention is required to ensure food is stored correctly and safely, especially during summer months when temperatures are usually higher.
“These Closure Orders demonstrate the importance of regular and consistent checks by businesses to ensure safe food practices are in place and adhered to in the interest of protecting consumer health. It is disappointing to see a number of these enforcement orders relating to the presence of rodents on the premises. Ensuring food is free of contamination includes putting robust pest control systems in place and also training/supervising staff appropriately. It must also be noted that summer is a particularly busy time of year for many food businesses, and it is critical that businesses have the necessary systems in place to account for both the increase in customers and temperatures. Food bacteria can multiply quickly in warm weather and food businesses must ensure food is stored correctly.”