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No action over mouse claims at Royal Thai Glengormley restaurant

By Jonny Bell

Published 17/05/2016

The Royal Thai restaurant in Glengormley
The Royal Thai restaurant in Glengormley
Lindy Tsang's open letter posted on Facebook.
Lynne McDowell

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has said no action is to be taken against a Glengormley restaurant after claims one diner spotted a mouse during a meal.

Belfast woman Lynne McDowell took to social media to claim that a mouse appeared while she was eating in the Royal Thai restaurant.

She said on Facebook a mouse joined her for dinner - while using a picture of a mouse from a totally different occasion. Lynne told the Belfast Telegraph she was wrong to use the false picture, but stood by her claims.

The claims prompted the owner's daughter to write a heartfelt letter about how the claims - which she strongly rejected - had the potential to damage the business which her parents had fought hard to establish over the past 20 years.

Lindy Tsang vehemently denied the restaurant had a rodent problem and that the claims were "false" and that a mouse was never "presented to staff on the night". She also said council environmental health staff found no trace of rodent activity during a visit.

Her letter sparked an outpouring of support with thousands sharing it online.

Lindy said it was heartwarming that something "originally very hurtful" to her family had ended up "benefiting" them.

The claims led to the local council environmental health opening an investigation.

On Tuesday, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council said: "The council’s Environmental health service was made aware of a posting on social media on Friday, May 13, 2016.

"The image associated with the posting did not relate to the premises.

"Following notification about the posting, Environmental Health Officers visited the Royal Thai restaurant, Newtownabbey. Council Officers have now concluded their investigation and no further action is being taken.

"The premises currently has a Food Hygiene Rating Scheme score of 2 [out of five]."

Commenting on the Belfast Telegraph's Facebook page prior to the statement, Lindy said: " My open letter was to clarify that the picture was indeed fake and that inspection proved to us that there was no activity. Lynne has the right to express her side.

"We had more inspection at the premises today [Monday] and it was again satisfactory. Like I mentioned, we have lots of areas that we could improve. We're not a perfect business. Life is too short to focus who is right and who is wrong.

"Let's just enjoy the nice weather."

She added: "Not many food businesses can say they never had a rodent problem. We're not saying all food businesses have experienced problems with rodents, it's just more common than you think.

"I want to clarify that I never said we never had a rodent issue in the past either. We would take this situation very seriously too if this is the case. Inspections truly did tell us that the talcum test showed no activity. Infact, the only few droppings they found were from the back of the restaurant and were actually historical droppings from a while ago in which was dealt with.

"Now that it's clarified, we can all move on."

In February, the Royal Thai in Glengormley once again hit the headlines when three Chinese men were arrested and sent for deportation following a raid by immigration officials.

Two of the men have since been removed to China and the third remains in the country while his case is dealt with by the Home Office.

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