A CLOSURE order served on a food distribution centre in Ballydehob has been lifted.
Walter Ryan-Purcell – who previously featured on Dragon’s Den and has been nominated for an upcoming local enterprise award – confirmed that an inspector for the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) called to his company’s food distribution centre at Boleagh in Ballydehob on Monday, August 22nd last and ordered its closure until certain works had been carried out.
He told The Southern Star that the distribution centre re-opened on Friday, August 26th, and he explained the circumstances, saying: ‘I had been doing a big spring clean and had a skip in, and we had a surprise visit at the wrong time.’
After the closure order was imposed on Tuesday, Walter said the work continued, but at a much more frenetic pace. ‘I did about two weeks’ work in about two-and-a-half days and nights.’
Walter said he had been clearing the premises so he could paint the floors. He said the work was completed before the premises was re-inspected by the FSAI on Friday afternoon. According to Walter, the FSAI said the place was looking ‘better than ever’.
He also pointed out that the centre at Boleagh is no longer being used as a bakery for Loughbeg Farm products, as they relocated their production of gluten-free breads and tea bracks to a purpose-built facility at Little Island in May.
The relocation followed a €100,000 investment by two Dragons on the popular TV programme – Eamonn Quinn and Alison Cowzer – for a 30% stake in his business. Since the move, Walter said that production has tripled.