Meat manufacturing plant issued with closure order


Rodent (rat) faeces were noted on shelving and on the floor of the processing area.

Meat manufacturing plant issued with closure order

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Rodent (rat) faeces were noted on shelving and on the floor of the processing area.

21 closure orders and 2 prohibition orders were served on food businesses for breaches of food safety legislation during the month of November, according to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

The enforcement orders were issued by environmental health officers in the Health Service Executive (HSE) and veterinary inspectors in the local authorities.

“This is the highest number of Enforcement Orders in one month since the legislation was introduced in 1998.” the FSAI outlined in a statement.

Meat manufacturing plant

Elita Meats, a small meat manufacturing plant with an address at Unit D4, Dunshaughlin Business Park, Dunshaughlin, Meath was handed a closure order under the FSAI Act 1998; this was later lifted on November 22nd. A prohibition order was also served under the FSAI Act, 1998.

There was evidence of rodent activity in the cleaning store adjacent to the processing area, according to an authorised officer of Meath County Council and the FSAI.

In a letter, the officer stated the reasons for the action.

They said there were “inadequate arrangements” for pest prevention and control of pest activity.

There was evidence of rodent activity in the cleaning store adjacent to the processing area. Rodent (rat) faeces were noted on shelving and on the floor of this area. Rodent activity in this area exposes cleaning equipment to a risk of contamination;

Holes were noted in the wall separating the cleaning store from the processing area which creates a risk of rodents accessing the processing area;

  • The most recent pest control records available for inspection were dated May 8th, 2018;

  • There was an open (uncovered/unscreened) floor drain within the processing area;

  • The electronic fly killer was inoperative.

  • There was no hot water at the hand basin in the staff toilet area;

  • Access to the hand basin at the entrance to the processing area was obstructed by orange buckets at the time of the visit and was not supplied with hot water, soap or paper towel;

  • The hand basin near the smoker was not supplied with water {either hot or cold) or paper towel;

  • The hand basin in the processing area at the rear of the premises was not supplied with water (either hot or cold}, soap, or paper towel;

  • The knife sterilizer was empty {i.e. no water present to disinfect knives).

The officer stated that there was no hot water on the premises or facilitates for disinfecting utensils or adequate hand-washing facilities in the processing area.

  • The floor was dirty in several areas, particularly at wall-to-floor junctions;

  • The walls were dirty in several areas (notwithstanding the staining arising from the smoking process);

  • Crates used for storing and transporting foods were dirty;

  • Plastic containers used for curing food were scored and no longer easy to clean and disinfect;

  • Work surfaces were dirty;

  • The internal surfaces of the injection brining machine were dirty;

  • The electronic fly killer in the processing area was in a filthy condition;

The premises were “not maintained in good repair and condition”.

  • The floor in the processing area was damaged in several areas and no longer easy to clean and disinfect;

  • The fan covers above exposed food in the brining refrigerator were rusted and no longer easy to clean and disinfect.

Inadequate hygiene standards

Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI, said: “November had the highest amount of enforcement orders in the one calendar month which the FSAI has seen since the legislation was introduced in 1998. 23 enforcement orders over a one-month period is totally unacceptable.”

“The presence of rodents and other pests presents a grave and immediate danger to consumers’ health and food businesses must put in place more robust pest control systems.”

“Some of the reasons for enforcement orders in November demonstrate totally inadequate hygiene standards and these operators are damaging the reputation of the food industry as we enter one of the busiest months of the year.”

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