NYC Health Officials Investigating Report Of Fried Rat Head Served At Popeyes

Image courtesy of JeepersMedia

Let’s start with a warning: if you have recently eaten food, are planning to eat food in the near future, or ever want to eat food again, you might want to stop reading. Now that that’s covered, let’s talk about a Popeyes customer who claims she received a fried rat head with her chicken.

On Sunday, a woman posted images of the purported fried rodent on Facebook (linked only, to save your eyeballs), saying her daughter was traumatized after the experience, and was so ill she had to take her to urgent care.

“This is clearly a rat and they have the nerve to have a 5 rating by the department of health,” she wrote.

As noted by DNAinfo, the city’s Department of Health website shows that the Harlem restaurant was last inspected on April 21, 2016, and scored an “A.” However, in 2015 inspectors wrote that the restaurant was “not vermin proof” and has “harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.”

A spokeswoman for Popeyes says the corporate office has reached out to the franchise owner about the incident, adding that it’s not common to find unusual items in the chain’s chicken, but that usually they turn out to be chicken organs. She adds that the franchise owner is upset over the incident, and contacted the health department, but that inspectors didn’t find anything unusual in the restaurant.

The customer was expected to bring the chicken to the location and meet with the franchise owner to test it.

The health department told DNAinfo that it sent a public health sanitarian to the location on Tuesday morning to investigate, after receiving a 311 complaint about the restaurant.

This isn’t the first time a customer has claimed to find rodent in their fast food order: in 2015, KFC demanded an apology from a customer who said he got a fried rat in his order of chicken. Though the shape seemed rat-like, it turned out to be made entirely of breaded chicken.