A RESTAURANT boss says he has been flooded with calls over false rumours that dead cats were found in his freezer.
The allegations about the Wok n Grill oriental buffet restaurant, in Warrior Square, Southend, are completely false, according to Environmental Health Officers.
But customers have still inundated manager Steve Wong, 33, with calls and have been worried about eating there.
The fed-up manager has said anyone is welcome to come and look in the kitchen and see for themselves the rumours are false.
He said: “The rumour is that Environmental Health issued a statement they were going to close the Wok n Grill down because we had cats in our kitchen.
“People were saying there were dead cats in our freezers and that we were selling cat meat, which is a ludicrous suggestion.
“I’m willing to welcome anyone into the restaurant at any time to have a look for themselves.
“We have nothing to hide.”
He added many callers said they had been told a story about the supposed closure had appeared in the Echo, but this is not true.
Mr Wong said he had been told the rumours initially started within Southend’s college student population and spread from there.
He added: “I don’t know why someone has done this. Perhaps we upset someone once, but I want to clear it up.
“People know the rumours are not true so it’s ridiculous to have got to this point.
“This could have really damaged the business.
“If people hadn’t realised it was ridiculous it could have had very serious repercussions for us.”
Steve Ramm, Southend Council’s acting team leader for business regulation, said the Environmental Health department had been called about the rumours.
He added: “There is no cause for concern.
“After a recent routine visit it is clear there is nothing to support these rumours.”
Based in Maitland House, in Warrior Square, Wok n Grill opened 18 months ago and employs around 25 full and part-time staff.