AN ENNIS store was ordered to close its external food store room by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

Nearby O’Briens Gala on Cloughleigh Road, in Ennis received the order on January 12th after inspectors found rodent droppings throughout the food store room. The Enforcement Orders were issued by Environmental Health Officers in the Health Service Executive (HSE).The closure order was then lifted on January 24th.

Inspectors explained that rodent droppings were noticed near food, beverages and on shelving representing an extreme public health risk.

“Rodent droppings were present throughout the external food store. Rodent droppings were noted on high and low level on shelving and adjacent to food contact materials and beverages. Due to the above evidence, there is likely to be a serious risk of contamination to foodstuffs and hence a grave and immediate danger to public health,” the notice outlined.

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. Closure Orders can refer to the immediate closure of all or part of the food premises, or all or some of its activities.

Closure Orders and Improvement Orders will remain listed in the enforcement reports on the website for a period of three months from the date of when a premises is adjudged to have corrected its food safety issue, with Prohibition Orders being listed for a period of one month from the date the Order was lifted.

Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI, stressed the importance of complying with food safety legal requirements that have been set to ensure the protection of consumer health. “In January, there continued to be a number of food businesses who failed to ensure appropriate food safety management systems were in place and operating correctly. It is a legal requirement that all food businesses take responsibility in ensuring their premises are maintained to the standard required by Irish food law. Food safety requirements are put in place to protect the health of consumers. Consumers have a right to safe food. By failing to keep reasonable food safety and hygiene standards in place, a business not only poses a risk to the health of their customers, but also to their own reputation as a trustworthy and safe food business”.

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