Reports on social media said the Polish man had been attacked and told to “go back to his country”, with some accounts saying the floor was covered in blood.
West Yorkshire Police confirmed they were investigating comments made towards the shopkeeper this morning, but said he had not been physically attacked.
Inspector Jon Brady, who heads neighbourhood policing in north-west Leeds, said they were called to Bramley Shopping Centre at 10.18am today after a male shopkeeper was taken ill.
“Officers established that a short time beforehand a man had made comments to the victim in his shop,” he said.
“The victim, who has a pre-existing heart condition, was taken to Leeds General Infirmary by ambulance but is due to be released later today after being monitored.
“We are satisfied that no physical assault took place. We are treating the incident as a racially-aggravated public order offence and our investigation is ongoing.”
The suspect was described as white, aged about 40, and was heavily tattooed on his face, neck and arms. He was wearing a t-shirt and spoke with a local accent. He was with a woman with curly ginger hair who was wearing sunglasses.
Insp Brady added: “We would like to reassure people that we treat all reports of hate crime very seriously and will do everything we can to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.”
Anyone with information that could help the investigation is asked contact officers on 101, quoting log number 456 of June 28.