Viral Video Shows Rats Swarming a Kitchen of This Beloved Chicken Chain
If you love your Louisiana-style fried chicken, you may want to avert your eyes.
A Popeyes location near Washington, D.C.'s Eastern Market was closed down last week after a delivery man blew the whistle on the state of the restaurant's kitchen. In a TikTok video posted on October 11 and viewed more than 145,000 times, a user named @blaqazzrick01 shows the state of the Popeyes' food prep stations after hours.
The man, who says he delivers raw chicken to all the Popeyes restaurants in the D.C. area, appears to enter the restaurant after it's closed down for the night, saying "watch this s—t right here." When he flips the light switch on in the kitchen area, several rodents can clearly be seen running around on the floors and even up a pole into the ceiling. "You still love that chicken from Popeyes?" the man says, referring to the chain's famous jingle.
@blaqazzrick01##popeyeschicken ##mickeymouse ##ratsfarm ##runandhide♬ original sound – blaqazzrick01
According to the New York Post, the video went viral on several news outlets and social media, which resulted in a Twitter user alerting D.C. council member Charles Allen of the situation at the Popeyes located on 409 Eighth Street SE.
To which Allen quickly responded with the news that the restaurant has been shut down.
Fox 5 also reported that the location was shut down on October 28, more than two weeks after the video started making the rounds. A notice on the door of the restaurant by the D.C. Health Department states the location is closed until further notice because of violations of food code regulations which present a health hazard to the public.
According to Popeyes, the restaurant will remain shuttered for good. A representative for the company told Eat This it had terminated the franchisee agreement with the owner of the infested location. "This Franchisee only operates this one location, and it is being closed indefinitely," the statement said. "This single restaurant does not reflect our strong food safety and cleanliness standards across Popeyes."
Rodents aren't just a problem at Popeyes. Last year, one of Chipotle's locations in New York City was temporarily shut down after multiple workers were bitten in an ongoing rat infestation. According to them, the rats were gorging on avocado and dry rice and appeared to be multiplying in size and number quickly.
For more, check out:
- 4 Fast-Food Chains With the Biggest Food Poisoning Scandals In History
- Here's Why Popeyes Almost Disappeared From the Fast-Food Scene
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Editor's note: This article was updated on November 2 to include a comment from Popeyes.