HEALTH inspectors have closed a city chip shop for the third time in three years – but its owner blames the tram works for its mouse infestation.
Carlo Crolla, owner of the Clifton Fish and Chicken Bar, in Haymarket, insists the works are responsible for the “nightmare” situation in which dead rodents were discovered on the premises.
He said he was doing everything he could to keep his shop free from vermin, showing the Evening News pest control records and poison traps.
He said: “I’ve been running the shop for ten years and I never had any problems until the tram works, which are digging up all the mice nests.
“All the shops along this street have problems with mice, but my shop is particularly old.
“It’s a nightmare. I have got a real problem here and I just can’t keep up with all the dead mice.
“I don’t want to lose my customers – this business is my life and it’s all I can do.”
The shop, on Clifton Terrace, was closed by inspectors on Tuesday, branded an imminent threat to public health.
A note pinned to the door by inspector Mark Herron said: “Effective mouse control is not taking place AGAIN.
“Two dead mice were found behind the fridges upstairs and one in the basement.
“Pest control have not visited since November 1, 2011.”
But Mr Crolla insisted he called in pest controllers regularly every couple of months.
He first ran into trouble in February 2009 when inspectors found a mouse infestation, along with a dead mouse and ice cream wafers contaminated with mouse urine, in the shop.
He was fined £1200. At the time, Mr Crolla also blamed the tram works.
Another visit from inspectors, in July last year, revealed the takeaway was again infested with mice and insects and the shop was shut down.
Mr Crolla has been given permission to re-open his shop after inspectors checked the premises had been decontaminated.
A spokesman for the council said it was powerless to close the takeaway for good and responsibility for stronger action lay with the procurator fiscal.
Councillor Robert Aldridge, environment leader, said: “Our strict enforcement action resulted in 35 food premises being shut last year due to hygiene breaches. The fact that so many premises were closed sends a strong message to all food business operators that we will not hesitate to take immediate action in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors.”
Mr Crolla is due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in the coming weeks.