A Belfast takeaway owner whose premises were found to contain dead and decaying animals has been fined £1,000 after failing basic food safety standards.
Pizza Paradise, then run by Farzam Esmaily on Lisburn Road in southern Belfast, was fined by local magistrates and ordered to pay £127 additional costs after being caught in 2009 during a routine inspection from council officials.
Councillor Pat McCarthy of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, who chairs the local authority's health and environment committee, was quoted by the Belfast Telegraph as saying: "Because we are prosecuting people it shows that it is effective and the community and public will know if places are not up to standard."
The prosecution is part of the Food Standards Agency's Food Hygiene Rating System, which was rolled out in Northern Ireland in June, seven months after its initial introduction in the UK.
Mayor of Belfast Niall O Donnghaile claimed at the time that the system would build on the success of the system it replaced - the 'Scores on the Doors' rating scheme, which was introduced in 2007.