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Evidence of rats found in kitchen of city centre restaurant.

ANOTHER city centre restaurant has closed its doors - this time after evidence of rats was found in food preparation areas.

Mr Ho's Vietnamese and Cantonese restaurant is the third city centre establishment to close its doors voluntarily in just 24 hours, as the council's environmental health team cracks down on hygiene issues.

But, unlike the cases of the Lobster Pot chip shop, in Whitechapel, and Piccolino, in Cook Street - where bosses voluntarily closed down to address hygiene issues - the problems at Mr Ho's restaurant appear far more serious.

A council notice in the window of the Victoria Street premises explains that during an inspection, officers found evidence of "rat activity" in a food preparation area in the basement.

The notice added the restaurant's "main food preparation area was also unclean, to the extent that it could provide a source of food for pests."

The inspector's comments said the presence of rats posed "an immediate risk to health."

Visiting the restaurant yesterday, it was clear the decision to close had been made swiftly, with tables ready for customers - but no-one around to comment.

Liverpool City Council has confirmed that the restaurant has been served with an immediate prohibition notice, forcing it to close down.

The matter will now come before Liver-pool Magistrates this afternoon - where the restaurant's owners will have a chance to fight the order.

A spokesman for the city council said: "On investigation, officers discovered hygiene issues of a nature which deemed the necessity to issue a prohibition notice, forcing the closure of the business.

"This matter will now go before Magistrates Court."

This is not the first time the premises in question has had issues with hygiene.

In 2012 - when it was called Shangri-La - the site was forced to shut after a customer found a cockroach in their food. Subsequent inspections found a cockroach infestation and rodent droppings. Following a court case, the restaurant said there had been a change in management and a new owner and it changed its name to Mr Ho's.

But it would appear that the problems at the site have continued, with yesterday's news that more rats have been found and the restaurant has been shut down.

The ECHO has attempted to contact the restaurant's owners but has received no response.

CAPTION(S):

Mr Ho's, on Victoria Street, has closed after environmental health officers found evidence of rats; and, inset, right, the sign on the door

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 11, 2017
Words:403
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