Ravenous rats run riot in Edinburgh city centre as they feast on McDonalds’ bins just yards away from Princes Street

THE rodents were seen feasting in bins behind McDonalds- restaurant bosses have blamed the outbreak on construction work taking place near the city centre branch.

By Dailyrecord.co.uk | 29 July 2013 13:18

Rats tuck into some discarded food
Rats tuck into some discarded food
RAVENOUS rats have returned to the vermin-plagued streets of Edinburgh city centre – and they’re lovin’ it.

The pests have in the past been spotted gnawing on electrical wires and pipes in the warren of lanes behind Princes Street.

But this time around they’ve decided to let a visit to McDonald’s make their day.

A stunned passer-by watched as rats scavenged for food among the bins behind the burger giants’ busy branch on Princes Street.

He said: “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The council were supposed to have dealt with the well publicised rat problem in the Rose Street area.

“But just a few yards away, here they were in broad daylight, getting stuck into the discarded McDonald’s cartons and looking for morsels of Big Mac.

“I think the seagulls had had first go at the bins but the rats were certainly coming out to feast as well.

Garbage is crammed into containers
Garbage is crammed into containers

“I couldn’t resist taking some photos but it would have been seriously offputting if it had been spotted by any overseas visitor.”

McDonald’s sources yesterday blamed the rat outbreak on construction work taking place behind and on the pavement in front of their branch at the west end of Princes Street. They confirmed the restaurant had been given a clean bill of health by hygiene contractors.

Earlier this month, it emerged rats had been wreaking havoc by gnawing
through electric wires and pipes, and tunnelling under the road in Rose Street South Lane.

Experts said rats had been a long-standing problem in the area and some blamed the new wave of vermin on reduced bin collections.

Pest controllers agreed overflowing bins may have played a part in accelerating numbers.

But the outbreak was said to be quashed after legal notices were served, forcing property owners to pay to have the rats exterminated.

McDonald’s said yesterday: “We can reassure our customers that cleanliness and hygiene are a priority for us and we adhere to the highest standards, with strict audit and control programmes to ensure food safety.

“There is extensive construction works under way in close proximity to our restaurant and, on occasion, pests have been sighted in the area.

“However, our hygiene and safety contractors, Ecolab, have thoroughly checked the restaurant and confirm that there is no internal issue and no evidence of any wider problem.”

Edinburgh City Council environment convener Lesley Hinds said: “We will work closely with business owners to ensure that they dispose of their waste responsibly.”