Belfast firm fined after 'rats detected' in Starbucks
The company which runs a Starbucks coffee shop in Belfast city centre has been fined £4,000 after rats were detected by food hygiene inspectors.
The cafe on Great Victoria Street is operated by Ritcin Limited.
The firm was taken to court by Belfast City Council after a member of the public reported seeing a rodent inside the cafe in October 2017.
The operators pleaded guilty to two food hygiene offences. The cafe was shut for a time to address the issues.
The offences admitted by the operators were "failure to protect food from contamination stemming from rodent activity which was likely to render it unfit for human consumption" and "failure to put in place adequate procedures to control pests".
Both offences dated back to 2017.
In a statement, Belfast City Council said the cafe reopened when its environmental health officers "were satisfied the risk to public health was removed".
The council was awarded costs of £3,500.
A spokesperson for Starbucks said: "Ensuring we meet high hygiene standards in all of our stores is a priority for Starbucks.
"In this instance, we recognise this store fell short and as soon as we became aware of this, we acted quickly to ensure any issues were addressed to reinstate our usual high standards as soon as possible."