Saturday 21 September 2019

Starbucks in Belfast accused of having rodents in food area

A coffee cup in a branch of Starbucks (Yui Mok/PA)
A coffee cup in a branch of Starbucks (Yui Mok/PA)

Christopher Woodhouse

ONE of the busiest coffee shops in Belfast allegedly had rodents in its food preparation area, Sunday Life can reveal.

The operators of Starbucks on Great Victoria Street in the city centre are being taken to court by the City Council due to "contamination stemming from rodent activity" at the premises.

The branch already has just one out of five 'scores on the doors' hygiene rating.

Court documents state that between November 2 and 3 last year it failed to protect food at all stages of production in the servery area, rendering it unfit for human consumption or injurious to health.

The Starbucks outlet, beside the entrance to Great Victoria Street station, is operated by Dublin-based Entertainment Enterprises (Restaurants) Holdings Ltd on behalf of the American coffee giant.

It faces two charges under the Food Hygiene Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006. Also charged over the same incident is restaurant operator Ritcin Limited, based in Connswater retail park in east Belfast.

It's accused of failing to protect food from rodent contamination and failing to put in place adequate pest control measures on the premises. Both cases are due to be heard at Belfast Departmental Magistrates Court on Tuesday this week.

According to the 'Scores on the Doors' website which lists food hygiene ratings, the coffee shop was given one out of five following an inspection on November 10, 2017.

It states that while the food hygiene and safety was rated as "very good", the structural compliance was "poor" and there was "little" confidence in management.

All other Starbucks franchises in the city have a rating of either four or five.

Belfast Telegraph

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