Chinese restaurant closed in Toronto after rat photos published

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Friday, October 10, 2008

The common brown rat
Image: National Parks Service.

Canadian authorities report that a Chinese restaurant in the Chinatown area of Toronto has been closed down by the Board of Public Health for the second time yesterday after investigators saw a video and pictures of a rat in the window.

The photos were posted on websites and local TV. Witnesses around the area report that they have seen rats crossing the streets, often going in and out of the restaurant.

Jesse Ship, arts editor of Format Magazine, filmed the picture of the rat while on his way to work. "I was just walking past Happy Seven [the restaurant] today on Spadina and snagged images of a rat in the window on my cell phone, sitting right next to the health inspector sign," he said, commenting on his find. "The restaurant wasn't open yet."

The video of the rat in the restaurant, which according to blogTO, is one of the most liked Chinese restaurants in Toronto, was then posted on the video sharing site Vimeo four days ago. It took a couple of days after the publication of the video to attract widespread press attention.

Until the video of the rat was made public, officials believed that the restaurant was safe, giving it a pass for food safety. The restaurant will be given permission to reopen once professionals are hired to remove the rats, and inspectors are satisfied that they have been removed.

Inspectors have closed 41 restaurants in Toronto this year, six of which have been in the same area as Happy Seven. Of the restaurants in the same area, half have been for rat problems.


Sources

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