A RESTAURANT owner has hit back at claims her eatery is infested by cockroaches after a video taken following a routine fumigation was uploaded to a social networking website.
Irene Coles and her family bought Viva Italia in Hervey Bay three years ago.
Ms Coles said she believes the video was taken by a disgruntled former worker soon after her family bought the business.
The person cleaned the kitchen after pest control visited the premises and took video of the insects, which they have since been using periodically to try to damage the reputation of the popular pizza restaurant, Ms Coles said.
The video was posted to Facebook page Wide Bay Brickbats and Bouquets but was removed by the page's administration because it was defaming the business.
Ms Coles and her daughter then posted on the page, voicing their outrage towards the person they believe is trying to damage their livelihood.
She said the community had thrown its support behind her and Viva Italia and, thanks to the routine fumigations carried out, she said the business was pest-free - and had never had a problem when regular examinations were carried out by health inspectors from the Fraser Coast Regional Council.
The video is still being circulated from a fake Facebook account and Ms Coles described the person's actions as "cowardly" because they would not put a real face or name to their claims.
On the person's Facebook account, Ms Coles had also noticed a threat to "rape and murder her entire family" which was later removed.
Police confirmed they had been notified about the situation.