Belfast Telegraph

Top club served with closure order

One of Ireland's premier private members' clubs has been served with a closure order over fears to public health.

An area of the exclusive Stephen's Green Hibernian Club in Dublin was shut by environmental officers between March 26 and 30.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) said it deemed there was, or there was likely to be, a grave and immediate danger to public health in the club's yard and basement - where an ice machine was stored. It is understood cracks and an old drain had to be filled in the area, where no food was kept or prepared.

Ray Mooney, general manager of the club, said: "During a routine inspection an issue was identified with a small unused area in the basement of the premises. The club responded immediately to rectify this issue. At no point was the day-to-day operation of the club impacted."

Six other food businesses were also rapped for breaches in food safety legislation last month, including Ocean Palace Chinese Restaurant, Main Street, Swinford, Mayo - closed since March 23; the Oriental Express takeaway, Parnell Street, Dublin 1 - closed from March 21-26; and the kitchen area of the Lemon Cafe Bar, 42 St Stephens Street, Dublin 2 - closed on March 14-15.

The others were the Netpol grocery (sale and portioning of cooked meats, cheeses and all ready-to-eat foodstuffs), Unit 9, Tyrrelstown Avenue, Dublin 15 - closed on March 6-7; Thai Orchid restaurant, 7 Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2 - closed from March 6-13; and the Superbites takeaway, New Street, Newmarket, Cork - closed from March 1-16.

Prof Alan Reilly, FSAI chief executive, said vigilance is always required in relation to food safety and standards must not be permitted to slip to such levels that consumer health is put at risk.

"Food business operators must recognise that the legal onus is on them to be responsible and ensure that the food they serve is safe to eat," he said.

"The FSAI has stressed again and again that a basic food safety management system is not difficult to implement, so it is disappointing that there continues to be food businesses who choose not to comply with this legal requirement. With the long weekend upon us, food businesses are going to be under more pressure than usual.

"During this busy period, food businesses need to be extra vigilant that safety standards do not slip. There's no excuse for ignorance of the legal food safety and hygiene requirements."

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