By Patrick Markey
If you are looking for culinary cleanliness, you might want to try a night in the slammer.
Catering staff at Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison and Wheatfield Place of Detention have managed to snag a vote of confidence from the Excellence Ireland National Hygiene Awards.
The Irish Examiner newspaper reports that the two houses of detention competed with more than a thousand catering specialists and food servers all over the country.
The Wheatfield center, home to 300 male inmates, won the industrial catering category, while Mountjoy Prison kitchen was awarded a hygiene mark for the first time recently.
Scally’s Super Valu in County Cork, and O’Hara’s Bakery in County Mayo, fought off stiff competition from the corporate giants to become joint winners of the Supreme Hygiene Award.
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Other winners included a Nenagh water treatment plant in the non-food category, a MacDonalds, meat suppliers and other food merchants.
"The winners have incorporated high standards of hygiene into the day-to-day running of their businesses, achieving standards in excess of the legal requirements and are setting the benchmark for others," one of the organizers said.
Chewed up checks
A man on trial accused of fraud conspiracy tried to eat a forged bank draft worth $56.5 million when arrested by gardai, prosecutors alleged in a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court recently.
Prosecutor Patrick Gageby told the jury that the bank draft taken from Nigerian immigrant Christian Obumneme’s mouth was "a bit chewed but still discernible."
Gageby’s statements came at the start of the trial of five men accused of a fraud conspiracy involving more than $143 million in forged bank drafts.
The Irish Independent reports that the men are alleged to have sought multi-million dollar payments from two businessmen in exchange for the drafts.
The accused men had set up a company to facilitate the attempted fraud, and had rented an office in Baggot Street.
Gageby told the jury that two foreign businessmen came to Ireland believing they could get vast sums of money, but were being set up to be "fleeced" by the accused.
One American businessman flew to Ireland from Baton Rouge, La., on the promise that he would get $32 million of Nigerian government money.
When he was told he would have to pay U.S. $2 million up front, Gageby said the American became suspicious and went to the gardai.
Another German businessman named flew to Ireland after he was promised by the accused men that he would get $56.5 million in Nigerian government money in exchange for $2.825 million of the takings.
All five men have denied the charges.