Rat found under deli counter and decomposing mouse on shop floor among reasons food businesses forced to temporarily close

A dead rat in a trap found under a deli counter and a decomposing mouse on a supermarket floor were some of the reasons several food businesses were forced to temporarily close last month.

Mice droppings, failure of staff to wash hands and re-mincing and reprocessing of frozen mincemeat beyond its best before date were some of the reasons behind ten closure orders issued due to health and safety concerns in September.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) issued ten closure orders last month, one of which was to Londis on 49 Grafton Street due to a dead rat found under a deli.

The authority also suspected contamination of the food premises and rodent access points into the shop.

The closure was issued September 18 and lifted the following day and the shop has since re-opened.

When a call was made by Independent.ie to the shop asking for comment from a manager, an employee declined to comment.

BWG Foods, the retailer who owns the chain, said that the closure of the shop was a “regrettable situation” caused by construction works.

“We would like to assure customers that this was an isolated incident which the store moved quickly to address, and that the relevant food control bodies are satisfied that this matter was fully resolved at the time,” said a spokesperson.

“Londis takes food safety very seriously and always strives to operate to the highest industry standards,” they added.

Closure orders were also issued for Pastel King Restaurant and Café and Oriental Pantry Supermarket, joint businesses in 22/23 Moore Street in Dublin city centre.

In the Oriental Pantry Supermarket, a decomposing mouse was found behind a rice area on the shop floor as well as mice droppings under the butcher counter.

Flies were also seen throughout the premises and possible entry points for rodents were identified.

Mice droppings were also found at the side of a dishwasher and close to open food at Pastel King.

Hygiene in the premises was “extremely poor”, according to the authority.

The closure orders were issued on September 30 and were lifted two days later on October 2 for both Pastel King and Oriental Pantry Supermarket.

Both businesses have since re-opened.

Speaking to Independent.ie, a staff member said that the closure was “only for a couple of days and everything is fine now”.

A closure order is served where it is deemed that there is or is likely to be a grave and immediate danger to public health at or in the premises, or when an improvement order is not compiled with.

“It was disappointing to see a number of these relating to the presence of rodents in food premises and also a number where the hygiene standards were very poor,” said Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive at the FSAI.

“It is the responsibility of all food business operators to ensure that their premises are fully compliant with food safety legislation, in the interests of their customers and their businesses,” she added.

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