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Hygiene row angers manager of popular Belfast chippy

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Cafe Fish manager Paul McDowell

Cafe Fish manager Paul McDowell

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

Cafe Fish manager Paul McDowell

The manager of a popular chippy claims they are being victimised by the authorities after being prosecuted for failing to display their food hygiene rating.

Cafe Fish, on Belfast's trendy Lisburn Road, is being taken to court for failing to ensure a valid sticker for its food hygiene rating, one out of five, was displayed on May 8 last year.

The chippy was prosecuted in January 2018 for the same offence and was the first business in Northern Ireland to be convicted under the legislation.

Despite being pursued again the owners intend to take a stand against a ratings system they label unfit for purpose.

Manager Paul McDowell (60), told Sunday Life: "They've put us through hell, it's unreal. We've been to our local representatives about this a number of times to try to get them to wise up. It's just been horrific.

"People can come into our kitchens and see the craic for themselves, we gut this kitchen twice a day to deep clean and pull everything out.

"Our kitchen is far cleaner than plenty I have seen and I'm talking about some of the top places in Belfast.

"I decided it was time to stand up and say 'this is bullsh*t' they're using it as a shaming exercise.

"I wouldn't mind if it were shaming places that needed shamed but it's not.

"They're doing us for not putting the sticker in the window but we say we did, that's the crux of the argument."

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Action was taken against Cafe Fish

Action was taken against Cafe Fish

Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

A council spokesman said it would not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.

Cafe Fish was the first business in Northern Ireland to be convicted of failing to display its hygiene rating at Belfast Magistrates' Court, in 2018.

PGMB Ltd was fined £250 and ordered to pay £120 legal costs for the offence.

The latest matter is due before Belfast Magistrates' Court on March 10.

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