Its name normally invokes images of a muscular cartoon character, but one New York woman says that a recent trip to a Popeyes Louisiana Chicken restaurant left her daughter with the aftertaste of another cartoon icon named Mickey Mouse.
As mentioned by FOX News and DNA Info, Harlem resident Rosemary Thomas says that on Sunday afternoon, she stopped by the popular franchise located on Frederick Douglass Boulevard in New York City to pick up food for herself and several family members, including her sister, daughter, and niece. At some point afterward, as they consumed the contents, her daughter apparently bit into a piece of chicken that was, in fact, a deep-fried and breaded dead rat.
Rather than take the food back to Popeyes, Thomas chose to share images of the eatery and the extra-crunchy vermin on Facebook as a warning to fellow customers.
“Friends and family, this is a meal [that] Popeyes in Harlem served my daughter, my niece and sister,” the note partially reads. “This is clearly a rat, and they have the nerve to have a [five-star] rating by the Department of Health.”
She then stated that she had also reached out to local new channel NY1 to further express her outrage.
“My daughter is traumatized,” she relayed in a follow-up Facebook post. “I had to take her to urgent care last night [because she] vomited [and had] diarrhea all day.”
Renee Kopowski, a spokeswoman from the fast-food haven, told DNA Info that the corporate office reached out to the Harlem Popeyes branch and was waiting to hear back from a manager. The restaurant in question recently passed an inspection by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene back in April with a grade of “A,” but it was just one positive following a bunch of negatives.
Previous reports reveal that in three separate incidents since 2013, that particular Popeyes restaurant was found to have had, “evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.” Another from 2015 went on to say that the Harlem-located Popeyes was “not vermin-proof.”
In her comment to DNA Info, Kopowski added that most instances of what people think are roadkill-like findings are found to be nothing more than discarded parts of the animal.
“[They] usually turn out to be chicken organs,” she said.
Thomas was asked by Kopowski to return the alleged delicacy to the Harlem Popeyes on Monday, September 19, for further testing, but she refused to do so. She has also turned down interviews with DNA Info and FOX News, according to staff members from those publications.
Last year, a California man claimed to have undergone a similar traumatizing event, thanks to one of Popeyes’ biggest competitors, Kentucky Fried Chicken.
As similarly noted by FOX News, customer Devorise Dixon shared an image on his Facebook profile that was said to have been a fried mouse. Unlike the aforementioned Popeyes item, Dixon’s piece of chicken from the “Colonel Sanders”-branded restaurant looked like a full-bodied rodent had somehow been tossed into a fryer. After a deep investigation, some of which was assisted by an image of Dixon’s that clearly showed white meat through the breading, it was ultimately found that he had been lying.
Hoax-busting website Snopes commented that the urban legend of the deep-fried rat, which goes back pretty far, according to the site, is one that commonly connects itself to the way most fast-food eaters worry about just who is preparing their food.
“The combination of our guilt at abdicating this responsibility, and our mistrust of corporations is expressed as fear that fast food entities who don’t care about us will serve us tainted food,” they say. “[We worry that it is] prepared under unsanitary conditions, due to carelessness, laziness, or sheer malice.”
[Featured Image by Kritchanut/iStock]