Restaurants closed over poor hygiene
La Fiesta in Klaksvík and Joe Pizza in Strendur were last week ordered to halt operations immediately after an unannounced visit by food authority HFS.
Both restaurants were found that have inadequate hygiene and production controls.
Two audits of La Fiesta
The situation at La Fiesta was deemed particularly problematic after two visits by the HFS, raising the question of whether the pizzeria should have its restaurant licence suspended.
After the first audit on 30 June, the HFS noted that:
"The hygiene standard is poor, and the handling of the food is unsatisfactory. La Fiesta was closed immediately and cannot reopen until these issues have been rectified and the HFS has conducted a follow-up audit.”
The food authority returned to the pizzeria the following day at the request of the owner, who believed the problems had been fixed.
However, instead of reopening the establishment, the HFS noted that:
"The hygiene standard remains unsatisfactory. The staff claimed to have spent hours cleaning, and the owner said that many people had been involved in the cleaning. He also said that they always clean thoroughly and that their place was cleaner than other pizzerias.”
The report from the second audit continued:
"(...) most surfaces were still dirty, the dough mixer was still dirty, the sink had not been cleaned, dirt was found under the cooling units, the staff toilet was still dirty and mould was detected on fridge gaskets.
"(…) In several instances where the HFS pointed to dirt during this audit, it was claimed that these items and places had been cleaned. It was also claimed that some things could not be cleaned, including the dough mixer. HFS representatives demonstrated that the crusts of dirt on the mixer could be scraped off with relative ease.”
Risk of licence suspension
The HFS further noted that:
"the premises are still very unsanitary, and food safety risks remain relatively high. The HFS believes that if an establishment can become as dirty as it was at the first visit and can continue to be as dirty as it was at the second visit, the hygiene standard is entirely unsatisfactory. The fact that the owner requests a follow-up audit while the premises are still dirty indicates that La Fiesta has little to no understanding of proper hygiene practices. The HFS thus believes that a follow-up audit should assess whether La Fiesta meets the requirements for holding a restaurant licence.”
Joe Pizza reopened
The HFS also found numerous deficiencies at Joe Pizza in Strendur. The audit report established that:
"(...) kitchen utensils and chopping boards were visibly dirty, mould was detected on the dough mixer, pizza topping containers were dirty, staff had no access to handwashing facilities, and old food was not cleared away because there was no access to a waste container.”
This led the HFS to conclude that:
"Food production under these circumstances puts food safety at risk and can render the finished products unsuitable for human consumption.”
A follow-up audit the next day found that the necessary improvements had been made and that the hygiene standard was satisfactory, and the pizzeria was reopened.
Other restaurants closed
The HFS says that five or six restaurants have been closed so far this year due to hygiene concerns.
Three have been closed in the past month. In addition to the two pizzerias, the NO12 café at Tórshavn’s national stadium was temporarily closed a month ago due to poor hygiene.
NO12 was reopened the following day after the HFS found that the necessary improvements had been made.
The HFS is not authorised to publish details about its restaurant closures. The information in this article was obtained by KvF through the Public Information Act.
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