A PIZZA shop boss fears vindictive internet rumours could ruin his business and leave staff in the dole queue.
Mohsen Hussein, who owns Pizza Uno and Dixy Chicken, both in St Luke’s Terrace, Pallion, said he was horrified to learn of rumours being circulated on social networking sites containing false allegations about his shops.
Lies circulated include suggestions the business is being shut down for hygiene breaches and bodily fluids being used in recipes.
Mohsen said the allegations are one hundred per cent untrue and he wants to assure people there are absolutely no problems with the food from his shops.
The Sunderland businessman said: “It’s very serious. Since this began, my takings have been down by 50 per cent, so it is having a hugely negative effect on the businesses.”
He said he employs about 25 people and all these families rely on the business.
He told the Echo that he does not want to cut staff because of a fall in sales.
Mohsen added: “A new driver was due to start with me the other night, but I had to tell him he would have to wait because of this.”
He said that due to social networking sites it is very difficult to get to the bottom of who started the rumours. The lies had started to be circulated after Mohsen advertised that Pizza Uno had been rated as five, the top rating, for hygiene by Sunderland City Council.
He said: “We are one of the busiest pizza shops in Sunderland and I wouldn’t have been given that rating if the shop wasn’t so clean and well run. What has been said has really upset me. There is no truth in it at all.”
The businessman, who has this year heavily supported the Grace House Appeal through Pizza Uno, said he fears the rumours may have been sparked deliberately to damage his business.