Three sushi firms operating from the bedroom of a house in Ireland have been closed down by authorities.

The unregistered online sushi takeaway restaurants were run from the home with breaches of legislation, food safety controls and recordkeeping and the absence of safe practices when handling raw fish and cooked rice.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) reported five closure orders were served on businesses during October for breaches of food safety legislation. Enforcement orders were issued by environmental health officers in the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The sushi-related closure orders were served on Johnathan Barbosa for Koi Sushi at 1 Shanvarna Road in Santry, a suburb of Dublin; on Bruno Barbosa for Nagoya Sushi and on Paulo Ricardo Barbosa for Kyoto Sushi at the same address. It is not clear how long the firms had been operating.

Danger to public health
Pamela Byrne, FSAI chief executive, said she was particularly concerned about the online unregistered and unsupervised businesses selling a range of sushi products from the house.

“Running a food business that has not been registered and is therefore, not supervised is totally unacceptable and poses a very serious risk to consumers’ health. In these instances, the unregistered businesses were producing sushi without any hygiene or temperature controls,” she said.

Sushi is a high-risk product because it contains raw fish which must be kept chilled to reduce growth of bacteria. It can also have cooked rice, which is a ready-to-eat product that needs to be kept chilled.

“In these instances, the absence of a food safety management system, no monitoring of the cold chain and no evidence of traceability of raw ingredients posed a grave and immediate danger to consumer health. Consumers should only buy from established food businesses,” said Byrne.

The two other closure orders relate to TFS Wholesale, Unit 6 and 7 Colomane, Bantry, Co. Cork and Speedos restaurant and café at 8 Tuckey Street, Cork City, Cork.

Ireland also affected by Salmonella in chicken
Meanwhile, Irish officials have confirmed that earlier this year there was an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis with six patients. The outbreak strain identified was considered a match to the one in the United Kingdom, which was associated with chicken products.

Almost 400 people have become sick with salmonellosis since the start of 2020 in the UK after eating frozen chicken products including 327 in England, 32 in Scotland, 26 in Wales and five in Northern Ireland.

No patients have been identified in Ireland since July. Similar to the UK, many of them listed consumption of breaded chicken products from a variety of shops or outlets during the incubation period.

It was not possible to state which breaded chicken products caused illness in Ireland but Iceland and Aldi products were recalled because of investigations in the UK and Poland.

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