A popular Belfast restaurant and bar has been fined a total of £950 after a dead rat was found in the store.
The former food business operator of Alley Cat of Church Lane Belfast was fined today at Belfast Magistrates Court.
Belfast City Council was awarded costs of £66 in relation to food hygiene offences.
The prosecution was taken by Belfast City Council following a complaint from a member of the public who reported seeing a rat inside the bar.
During a visit to the premises on February 12 2014, Environmental Health Officers found a dead rat in a walk in chill that was being used to store food and beer, and the Limited Company agreed to an immediate voluntary closure of the kitchen.
Alley Cat Bar Limited pleaded guilty to five food hygiene offences, namely
•failure to protect food from contamination by pests;
•failure to protect food from other contamination likely to render it unfit for human consumption;
•failure to put in place, implement and maintain a food safety management system based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Principles;
•failure to supervise, instruct and train staff; and
•failure to ensure the kitchen wash hand basin was available for cleaning hands and provided with hygienic hand drying materials.
Alley Cat is now being operated by a new food business operator and has recently been inspected.
In accordance with the Food Standards Agency’s National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, the results of food hygiene inspections are now published and the new rating for Alley Cat will be published soon.
A rating of 0 means urgent improvement is necessary, with 5 meaning food hygiene standards are very good. The Food Hygiene Rating of any Belfast premises can be viewed via www.belfastcity.gov.uk/food.