THE Paragon restaurant on Skibbereen’s Main Street was served with a closure order by the HSE last month, although the bar area was still allowed to serve hot and cold drinks and pre-packaged snacks.
The well-known business was prohibited from serving food for two days, November 12th-14th, and after an inspection was allowed to re-open.
In a lengthy report compiled by HSE environmental health officers, the premises, in the name of company secretary Denis Collins, was said to have not been ‘kept clean or in good repair’. It said there was no effective cleaning programme in place.
Among the non-compliances with food regulations found were:
• a yellow bucket which was used for cleaning all areas of the premises, including patrons’ toilets, kitchen and food storage area, and it contained ‘dark discoloured water’.
• a number of surfaces and items containing thick layers of grease; a damaged floor drain cover under a fridge which could allow pest access; stagnant and smelly water in the wash-up area; a large gap near the extractor which could allow pest access; surfaces of containers which contained spilled food were ‘caked in a layer of grease’; a sieve encrusted with food debris; a flyscreen caked in a layer of grease; upper internal surfaces of an ice machine were coated with a dried-on grey/white substance; a cupboard which stored cups and saucers had a floor covered ‘with a thick layer of debris’ and food debris was trapped in the door seal of the walk-in freezer.
In the lobby to the walk-in cold room, the inspector found a pest bait box upside down with blue bait spilling out of it. Carrots and an open box of onions were stored below it. ‘There was a risk of rodent bait contaminating food,’ the report stated. Mouse droppings were found on a shelf where the alcohol was stored in the cellar; a dead small flying insect was found on the outside wrapping of some goat’s cheese in the cold room; the last record of pest control checks was in June 2016.
The report added: ‘The siting of two bait boxes and the use of loose grain rodenticide in a room where food was handled presented a risk of contamination.’
During November the FSAI served 21 closure orders, and 2 prohibition orders on Irish food businesses for breaches of food safety legislation. This is the highest number of enforcement orders in one month since the legislation was introduced in 1998.