According to figures released by the HSE, Dublin has seen the most restaurant closures so far in 2017.
Dublin accounted for 44 percent of the total closures in Ireland so far. Following Dublin is Donegal and Cork, each accounting for three percent of the closures.
The lowest amount of closures took place in Laois, Kildare, Longford and Wicklow, with each of these counties only having one food establishment closed.
There have been no closures recorded as of yet in counties Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, and Waterford.
Punjab Pantry is one of the many food establishments that have been closed this year due to breaches of food safety legislation.
Punjab Pantry, with an address of 39 Richmond Street South, Dublin 2, was closed in February this year by an environmental health officer working with the HSE.
Documents released by the HSE have revealed the reasoning behind the restaurant’s closure, with many legislation breaches being documented.
The environmental health officer recorded approximately 90 to 100 rodent droppings at the back entrance to the premises, as a result of the back door not being adequately pest proofed. A large hole was noted around the pipework at the back entrance also, giving access to the rodents.
Poor temperature control was also noted on the premises with chicken and garlic mayonnaise being stored at the wrong temperatures.
Drainage facilities did not meet the requirements of legislation either. The equipment sink in the kitchen was not connected to the drainage system and the wash hand basin in the basement kitchen was blocked.
The equipment and food preparation surfaces were also a cause for concern, with rust found on the interior of the cooking equipment and dirt, food particles, human hair and debris noted on food preparation surfaces and equipment.
According to the HSE report, the conditions of the restaurant were ‘filthy’.
By Nicole McNelis