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Starbucks shop closed over public health fears for more than a week

Published 06/10/2016

The Starbucks coffee shop in Waterford's Great Georges Street was closed for more than a week
The Starbucks coffee shop in Waterford's Great Georges Street was closed for more than a week

A Starbucks coffee shop has been shut down over public health fears.

Health chiefs ordered the outlet at 21 Great Georges Street in Waterford to close its doors on September 27.

It remained shut for more than a week, reopening on October 5, the latest report from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has revealed.

The FSAI declines to give details of why closure orders are served on any outlet, but its chief executive, Dr Pamela Byrne, said they are only issued for serious risks or regular breaches of hygiene regulations.

"Enforcement orders and most especially closure orders and prohibition orders are never served for minor food safety breaches," she said.

"They are served on food businesses only when a serious risk to consumer health has been identified or where there are a number of ongoing breaches of food legislation and that largely tends to relate to a grave hygiene or operational issue."

Dr Byrne added: "There can be no excuse for putting consumers' health at risk through negligent practices.

"Food businesses have a legal onus to make sure that the food they sell or serve is safe to eat.

"Most food businesses follow high standards and are compliant with food safety legislation, unfortunately there are some who don't."

Starbucks was one of six businesses hit with closure orders for breaches of Irish food safety laws during September.

They included Ruby King, Unit 5, West Business Park, Circular Road,

Roscommon; Akanchawa's Honey Pot, 40 Mountjoy Street, Dublin 7, and the restaurant at Fernhill Golf & Country Club, Carrigaline, Cork.

The kitchen at Hannons Oakwood Hotel, Athlone Road, Roscommon, and Get Fresh Catering canteen at Castlerea Community School, Castlerea, Roscommon, were also served orders.

Four separate closure orders, under EU regulations, were issued to Ashford Oriental, Main Street, Ashford, Wicklow; the shop deli at Hairy Neds Pub and Shop, Crosskeys, Cavan; Big Bites Take Away, Castle Street, Roscommon; and Fitto Cafe, 12/13 Catherine Street, Limerick.

A spokeswoman for Entertainment Enterprises Group, which operates the Starbucks chain in Ireland, said the Waterford closure was a result of contaminated water flowing into the shop.

"The problem was with the main drainage pipes," she said.

"There was a rupture of the main pipe in the middle of the road outside our store.

"Water then seeped under the road and pavement into our basement.

"The pipes were repaired and the store is restored to its proper condition. The store reopened yesterday afternoon."

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