According to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, the number of pubs, restaurants and other food businesses which have breached food hygiene regulations has risen this year.
In total, 84 premises in Ireland have been served with closure orders by the authorities for food hygiene breaches. These have included everything from rodent infestations and filthy kitchens to a total lack of food safety management systems or food hygiene training for workers. Accumulated congealed grease and food debris have been discovered in restaurant kitchens, along with warm fridges and food products being stored next to rodent droppings.
The very high level of closure orders this year is believed to be the very highest on record, but shutting down and prosecuting businesses which breach food hygiene laws and put public health at risk is the only way the authorities can deal with such situations.
The good news is that closure orders often prompt restaurant owners to make the required improvements to standards, including sending staff on food safety training courses, so that they operate safely in future. These businesses are often permitted to reopen, provided that they are regularly inspected by environmental health officers.