The KFC branch on Westmoreland Street in Dublin City Centre was ordered to close for four days last month after health inspectors found dead rats and rat droppings on the premises.
On Thursday, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) published details of its latest temporary enforcement orders, which found cases of pests, chopping boards with black mould and dead rodent carcasses in various restaurants and food outlets across the country.
It found that in relation to the KFC branch on Westmoreland Street, “adequate procedures were not in place to control pests.”
“Rodent droppings were sighted throughout the premises in the attic, suspended ceiling above the office and kitchen and the basement,” the inspection report said.
“Dead rodent carcasses were found in the suspended ceiling of the ground floor and in the basement. The construction of the food premises did not permit adequate pest control.”
The FSAI found the conditions in Long Thanh on the North Strand in Dublin 1 posed a “grave and serious risk to public health”.
The inspector noted that there was a blocked drain at the premises at the time of inspection, with “foul water” stagnating there. There was also congealed black dirt around the drain, with dead insects noted in the dirt.
“Foul odours were emanating from the drain and accumulations of flies were also noted coming from the drain here,” the inspector said.
The FSAI also noted issues with the levels of cleanliness in the premises, with cleaning cloths being “black and mouldy, consistent with no laundering or effective cleaning methods”.
“Black mould was observed on chopping boards which were in use at the time of the inspection,” the report states.
“The floors throughout the premises were extremely dirty with food debris evident and collecting raw chicken trimmings on the floor beneath equipment. The flooring throughout was extremely greasy with congealed dirt and grease within floor wall junctions.”
The takeaway was issued with a closure order by the FSAI on May 22nd, and it was lifted days later on May 26th. Long Thanh was one of seven premises served with closure orders last month.
In total four closure orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 including: Long Thanh, 14 North Strand Road, Dublin 3, Saint Ita’s Hospital (Closed area: Seascapes Restaurant only), Portrane Road, Portrane, Co. Dublin, O’Riordan’s Bar (Closed area: two dry goods/cold storerooms off bar), Main Street, Coachford, Cork, New Century (take away), 6 Prospect Road, Glasnevin, Dublin 9. A further three closure orders were served under the European Union (Official Controls in Relation to Food Legislation) Regulations, 2020 on: Maneki (restaurant/café), 43 Dawson Street, Dublin 2, KFC, 16 Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2 and Kebabish (take away), Main Street, Bruree, Limerick.
Some of the reasons for the Enforcement Orders served in other premises last month include a container of cooked chicken left on a dirty sink near pools of blood; surfaces encased in a thick layer of dirt and grease and multiple cases of rodent infestations, with empty pasta bags containing mouse droppings and a rodent caught in a trap.
Dr Pamela Byrne, chief executive of the FSAI, said food businesses must take care to prepare, store and defrost foods at appropriate temperatures.
“Care should be taken when preparing all foods, particularly for high-risk foods like sushi which needs specific food safety controls. Improper defrosting of food has been noted by environmental health officers. Defrosting should only be undertaken in refrigerators, as otherwise bacteria can multiply at room temperatures,” she said.
“All food businesses must adhere to mandatory food legislation, regardless of how long established they may be. A failure to do so can pose a grave and immediate risk to public health. By following best practices for food safety and hygiene, food businesses can produce safe food.”