Tramworks in Edinburgh have been blamed for causing an infestation of mice at a branch of KFC.
Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard on Thursday that the fast food outlet on Leith Walk started having vermin problems after work started on the new public transport network.
The franchise was awarded £11,000 in compensation from the company responsible for laying down the tram tracks, but the mice did not disappear.
The franchisee for the branch was subsequently fined £4000 on Thursday after admitting breaking hygiene regulations.
Environmental health inspectors carried out an inspection of the restaurant in June 2011 when health watchdogs found that mice had contaminated areas close to where food had been prepared.
The inspectors also discovered mouse droppings close to where hungry customers picked up straws to enjoy the cold drinks served with their meals.
MBCC Food Ltd, of Livingston, West Lothian, entered pleas of guilty to two charges of contravening food safety laws.
Depute procurator fiscal Anna Murphy told the court that inspectors from Edinburgh City Council's Envrionmental Health Department paid the restaurant a visit on June 16 2011.
The eaterie is located close to the city's Ocean Terminal, a key stop in the city's proposed tram network but the revised plan means that the route will not extend to Leith.
Miss Murphy told the court that they found evidence that mice had potentially contaminated food that was waiting to be prepared in the kitchen.
They also found mice droppings close to where customers picked up straws for their drinks.
Miss Murphy said: "The manager of the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant accompanied the inspectors around the store premises.
"The inspectors found several incidences of mice contamination throughout the shop. In the kitchen, they found mouse droppings and food sitting close by.
“The manager disposed of the products immediately."
Defence advocate Susan Duff said the restaurant started having problems with mice soon after work on building tram lines began in April 2008.
Mrs Duff told the court that the construction work caused the restaurant's takings to fall 40 per cent.
She said: "It caused significant disruption. It caused disruption to the habitation of mice in the area. The mice being displaced were attracted towards the local shops."
She added "MBCC are extremely concerned by these developments. They as franchise holders are focused on providing the highest quality of food to consumers."
Sheriff Neil MacKinnon fined MBCC Foods £4,000. He said: "It is an extremely serious matter."
A KFC spokeswoman said: "Hygiene is of the utmost importance to KFC which is why we contacted the council and specialists about the issue.
"We accept our responsibilities on this matter and have reminded staff of our strict standards and will be working closely with the authorities and other businesses affected by the tram works to address the issue."
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