A RESTAURANT, owned by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, is at the centre of a storm of controversy — after a Hucknall family claimed they spotted a MOUSE on their table.
Sandra Cooper and Kevin Cooper, of Truman Drive, took Kevin’s brother, Steven, to the upmarket eaterie in Nottingham for a special birthday treat.
Steven (43), who has severe learning difficulties, was looking forward to the meal and the family spent more than £100 on the outing.
But they say their day was ruined by what happened at the Jamie’s Italian venue on Low Pavement.
For after complaining about their meal, they say they saw the rodent brazenly sniff at one of the plates before scampering across the table and then down the leg before heading towards the kitchen area.
Sandra said: “Kevin had complained about his food and then pushed his plate to one side. All of a sudden, he asked what was on his plate and it was a mouse!
“It climbed on to the food, had a sniff around and then ran away. Steven thought it was hilarious but we certainly didn’t.”
As the Coopers were leaving the restaurant, Kevin says he asked to speak to the manager but was told he wasn’t available. He popped back in later the same day but still couldn’t speak to a senior member of staff. He says he left a letter of complaint.
The family say there was no response from the Oliver organisation, so they posted the details of their complaint on a blog on the Jamie Oliver website.
It was then that things escalated. Nottingham City Council’s environmental health department was called in and in a letter to Kevin, an inspector admitted there had been “mouse activity” at the restaurant. However they were satisfied staff were doing “everything they could” to stop the mice returning.
The letter added: “At the time of the visit, our officers were satisfied that there were no signs of an active infestation.”
The claims of the Cooper family have hit the national headlines and have featured in the likes of ‘The Sun’ newspaper.
A spokesman for the Jamie Oliver empire is reported by the ‘Daily Mail’ as saying: “The diners allegedly had their meal in April and the first we heard of their complaint was in July. We have investigated that fully.
“Regarding the ‘mouse activity’, there are a number of caves and tunnels in that part of the city and mice can occasionally be a problem across a wide area of Nottingham.
“However, since opening, Jamie’s Italian has taken firm action to ensure that food hygiene is never compromised and at the most recent inspection in July, the local environmental health team were more than satisfied that mice were not an ongoing problem within the restaurant.”