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Teddy's Ice Cream storage unit closed due to rodent droppings

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A HSE officer described the unit as ‘very poorly pest-proofed’

A HSE officer described the unit as ‘very poorly pest-proofed’

A HSE officer described the unit as ‘very poorly pest-proofed’

A storage unit used by Teddy's Ice Cream in Dun Laoghaire Harbour was one of five premises hit by closure orders last month after the discovery of rodent droppings.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) released details of five such orders and two prohibition orders which were served on businesses in July for breaches of food safety legislation.

The closure order only related to an enclosed food packaging and storage unit used by the well-known ice-cream vendor, which came after an inspection by a HSE officer on July 14.

In their report, they said evidence of rodent infestation and droppings were noted in the store area. Food packaging and foodstuffs were being stored there.

The area was described as "very poorly pest-proofed" with numerous holes, gaps and defects noted in the structure allowing potential access to rodents. Poison had been scattered on the floor.

Danger

The officer described the scene as a "grave and immediate danger" to foodstuffs in the unit as rodents can transmit pathogens through their waste.

A spokesperson for Teddy's Ice Cream said that the storage unit, used for a "small concession at Dún Laoghaire's east pier" was served a closure notice last month.

"This does not impact any other stores. This concession has been closed since the middle of March, to adhere to Covid-19 government recommendations," the statement said.

"Before its closure, the unit was not used to store food for service. The issues outlined are being dealt with and the unit will not be used in the future."

Other closure orders issued last month related to a Londis in Cabra where an inspector found raw meat was being cut and packaged in an area where ready-to-eat food is stored.

A poultry storage business in Dublin 15 was also found to be in contravention of food safety regulations after putrefied meat unfit for human consumption was being kept.

The reasons cited by the HSE officer was the discovery of rodent droppings in areas where open packages of food were stored and prepared.

According to Dr Pamela Byrne, FSAI chief executive, recent inspections have identified a number of breaches of food legislation.

They have also identified some food businesses operating outside of the law that were not registered or approved.

"A number of serious incidents have been identified where authorised officers found people operating out of food premises or vehicles where no adherence to basic food safety and hygiene practices where in place," she said.