Mouse droppings were discovered on a kitchen preparation table in a Birmingham city centre bar, a court heard yesterday.
Digress, on Newhall Street, was closed down by environmental health inspectors using emergency powers after a routine visit on Monday lunchtime. Customers were told to leave their food and vacate the premises.
The bar was issued with an emergency prohibition order for posing an "imminent risk to health" because of a mouse infestation.
Environmental health officer Caroline Wade told a hearing at Birmingham Magistrates' Court that she had found mouse droppings on a stainless steel preparation table.
She also found them on shelves where chopping boards were being stored and on another surface used for food preparation.
Miss Wade said the freshness of the droppings convinced her that the infestation was recent.
"The conditions and the extent of the infestation I considered an imminent threat to health. Mouse droppings carry food-borne pathogens," she said.
Craig Baylis, representing Novus Leisure, the company which owns Digress, said that since the order had been served, staff had worked night and day to clean the premises.
An environmental health officer revisited the bar yesterday morning and found it now satisfied food hygiene standards.
"We would like to reassure customers that Digress now has a clean bill of health and this situation will not happen again," said Novus Leisure operations manager Richard Littman.
The bar is expected to reopen today.