STARBUCKS Cafe, which is only open on John Roberts Square a few weeks, were served with a closure order by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) in September. This is the latest in a series of turbulent incidents that the coffee giants have had since they first arrived in Waterford.
In August, the Waterford News & Star revealed that Starbucks were planning on opening in the former Toymaster premises on John Roberts Square without acquiring planning permission. Waterford City quickly responded by issuing them with a planning enforcement action. Unperturbed by this, they opened anyway.
However, last week, customers hoping to enjoy some of their signature coffees with poorly spelt personalisations, were disappointed to see closed doors and a sign explaining that the cafe was closed ‘due to a burst pipe’.
Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI emphasised the serious nature of a food business being served an Enforcement Order.
“Enforcement Orders and most especially Closure Orders and Prohibition Orders are never served for minor food safety breaches. 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. Food inspectors have a range of other powers available to them, apart from Enforcement Orders that they can use for more minor breaches that they identify in a food business. The full suite of powers afforded to food inspectors working on behalf of the FSAI are in place to fundamentally protect consumers and restrict a food business from supplying food where there could be a risk to the safety of that food.”
“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,” concludes Dr Byrne. “Most food businesses follow high standards and are compliant with food safety legislation, unfortunately there are some who don’t. The food inspectorate works to identify those who are not complying and those found not to be complying with food law can expect that there will be repercussions.”
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.”