Belfast Telegraph

Dead mouse found in Belfast pizza takeaway

By Lesley-Anne Henry

The owner of a popular Belfast pizza shop has been fined after a dead mouse was found on his kitchen floor.

Farzam Esmaily, trading as Pizza Paradise takeaway on the Lisburn Road in the south of the city, was ordered to pay £1,000 plus court costs of £127 after being convicted of six food hygiene related offences in court yesterday.

The prosecution was taken by Belfast City Council and relates to offences caused two years ago. The dead mouse was discovered during a routine inspection by a Belfast City Council environmental health officer on November 9, 2009.

Mouse droppings and gnawed bags were also found.

A number of hide beetles, which are associated with decaying animal matter and an indicator of poor hygiene, were also found on the premises, while a number of possible pest entry points were identified and poor standards of cleaning were also observed.

The environmental health inspector also noted that the toilet on the property was not in proper working order and food was being stored in a room adjacent to the lavatory.

Belfast City Council, which brought the case, confirmed to Belfast Magistrates Court yesterday that the conditions in the premises had subsequently improved to its satisfaction.

Last night the Belfast Telegraph contacted Pizza Paradise and was told that the shop was now "under new management".

SDLP councillor Pat McCarthy, who chairs the health and environmental committee at Belfast City Hall, said the council would not accept poor standards.

"Because we are prosecuting people it shows that it is effective and the community and public will know if places are not up to standard," he said.

"It sends a message to the owners of restaurants and cafes that there are standards that we expect them to keep up.

"We also have the new system where places are rated one to five according to their hygiene, so there is no doubt the council is being proactive.

"We have to get the message out there and I would appeal to anyone who has concerns about food hygiene to pass them on."

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