A restaurant owner who was fined £20,000 after an insect was discovered in a meal has denied buying up every local newspaper reporting the case.
The story about live cockroaches being found in food served by the Sea Palace in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, was splashed all over local papers.
But, mysteriously, those editions were snapped up from local shelves.
Cam Mu, who runs the Chinese diner, denied the story and said: "That's the funniest thing I've heard."
"It's definitely not true," he added.
Cam and Kiem Mu, who were fined £20,000 after a woman discovered an insect in a dish, later apologised to customers who had eaten at the restaurant where the cockroaches were found.
Other live cockroaches were found in the dining room and ladies' toilets.
The brothers have claimed it is now one of the cleanest in town.
All 1,400 editions of the Evening Post sold in Weston-super-Mare sold out when the paper reported the story on Monday.
The Mu brothers, who have run the restaurant and takeaway for 18 years, admitted eight offences under the Food Safety Act during a hearing at Flax Bourton Magistrates' Court on Friday.
They were fined £14,000 for seven food hygiene offences, £6,000 for "serving food unfit for human consumption" between March and September 2005 and ordered to pay costs of £3,332.
Eyebrows were raised when the case was covered by the local paper - and its North Somerset editions sold out in Weston-super-Mare and a 40-mile radius around the seaside town.
Newsagents and supermarkets said two men were seen buying up all copies of the paper in their stores.
Terry Hawkins, circulation director at the Bristol-based Evening Post, said: "This is the first time in eight years doing this job that I can recall such feverish buying behaviour."
But in a statement the brothers said: "We have been greatly embarrassed by recent events and wholeheartedly admit that problems were found at Sea Palace, since then we have spent considerable time and money rectifying the problem and readdressing the management.
"It has caused us a great deal of distress, as this is our flagship restaurant which has been operating for over 17 years, this is the first issue we have had in all that time.
"We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to all our customers and those concerned over this lapse in standards, but you can be assured that this is probably now the cleanest kitchen with the highest standards in Weston-super-Mare, and will continue to remain so."