A Bromley restaurant that was given a zero out of five hygiene for having a dead rat in its basement has improved its score.

The Crown and Pepper in Tiger Lane near Bromley High Street was inspected by Bromley Council’s food safety team on June 5.

The inspectors found a rat and gnawed vegetables in the restaurant’s basement.

Inspectors rate establishments out of five options, from zero - meaning 'urgent improvement necessary' - to five, meaning 'very good', and the Crown and Pepper was given a zero.

But when it was inspected again last week, it was given a three out of five. This means the restaurant is ‘generally satisfactory.’

The new result has not yet been published on the Food Standards Agency’s website, but the owners have been given a sticker to put on their door.

A spokesperson for the restaurant said that changes were made to get a better score.

They said: “The kitchen is upstairs, and the rodent was found in the basement. Two days before the rat was found, we had a pest control expert come in. There were works outside, and we think that’s where the rodent came from.

“We cleared up the basement and now we have more plastic boxes for storage. We just tried to organise it a little bit more.

“The building is a very old, so we had to do lots of work to cover up extra cracks.

“We have regular pest control inspections. It’s worth saying that we always have had those inspections.

The spokeswoman said: “I want to highlight throughout the ordeal, the staff who work here have continued to eat at the restaurant. They can see the conditions and they wouldn’t eat there if it was really that bad.”

The spokeswoman said restaurant lost lots of business because of the bad hygiene rating. The owners almost decided to shut the restaurant down.

But the spokeswoman said business is doing a lot better now they have the new rating.

The pub area has also been renovated.

The spokeswoman said: “We have always looked at food and hygiene and taken it seriously. And this is the first time in our 20 years that we have ever had this problem.

“We’ve kept our loyal customers. We made a big loss when we had the zero, but they stayed with us and we are really grateful.”