Mice droppings found in Belfast food shop

Food safety inspectors have confirmed mice droppings and bread for sale, which had been gnawed by rodents, were both found at an Iceland store in west Belfast.

Belfast City Council staff carried out an inspection of the premises on 19 September, 2008 which uncovered "a number of serious breaches of food hygiene legislation.

"Officers observed mouse droppings on and under shelving, and bread which was displayed for sale had been gnawed by mice."

The store was fined £400 plus £66 costs after the inspection.

In a statement, Iceland Foods Limited claimed it "was not charged for or fined for any pest-related issues".

But the council said the firm had been fined for "food safety offences."

Rats, mice, roaches, the need for more inspectors


Astonishing and amazing, like the recent Pet Shop Boys concert I attended, what one can find during a restaurant inspection.

KITV writes

In mid-August, a customer complained about finding a roach in a hamburger from a Honolulu fast-food restaurant. Two days later, an inspector found dead roaches in a plastic paper sheet cover at the same restaurant.

The state sends inspectors on unannounced inspections of restaurants. KITV followed along as inspector Raena Nishimura checked the conditions at Downtown Coffee, a coffee bar off Fort Street Mall.

"Just looking in the cupboards for any signs of droppings of rodents, roach droppings," Nishimura said.

There were none of those at Downtown Coffee, but an inspector found a live rat under the sink at a Kalihi noodle shop recently.

At another downtown restaurant, an inspector found mold in a soda dispenser, just a few days after a customer complained of finding mold in some lemonade.

The only way to find violations and get dirty restaurants to clean up their act is to inspect them on a regular basis.

"Our supervisor would like to have our establishments inspected twice a year, but that’s impossible," Nishimura said.

It is impossible because budget cuts have left a small number of inspectors to handle thousands of restaurants.

I couldn’t agree more, public health inspections are a culmination of hard work integrating a myriad of different scientific disciplines. As a result, they take time and more resources are needed if we are to take food safety seriously.