It was a scene straight out of “Ratatouille.”
A Popeyes outlet in Washington, DC, was shuttered Thursday for “health code violations” following the release of alarming footage that showed rats running amok in the kitchen. The incriminating clip topped 145,000 views since it was posted on Oct. 11 by one of the chicken chain’s delivery men.
“You still love that chicken from Popeyes,” mocks TikTok user @blaqazzrick01, who appears to have shot the video after hours at the outpost on 409 Eighth St. SE near the capital’s Eastern Market, Fox 5 reported.
In the two-minute video, the rogue chicken supplier takes viewers on a tour of the poultry purveyor’s cook station with the promise of revealing “some wild s–t.”
“This is Popeyes,” he says before switching on the lights, revealing a biblical plague of rodents swarming the kitchen. During the course of the exposé, the vermin appear on camera a dozen or so times, with some scurrying across the floor while others scramble up a pole into the ceiling. Blaqazzrick01 reported observing around 15 rats during his nausea-inducing kitchen inspection.
The clip subsequently went viral on multiple news outlets and social media, whereupon a Twitter user alerted DC councilmember Charles Allen of the Popeyes pestilence.
Meanwhile, an advisory on the front of the store read that the establishment had been “ordered closed until further notice” for health violations that presented an “imminent health hazard(s) to the public,” per a recent tweet.
The DC Popeyes isn’t the only fast-food chain to be plagued by a rodent scourge. In December 2020, the New York City Chipotle branch on Broadway near West 169th Street closed its doors after becoming infested with rats, which reportedly chewed through the computer wiring, ransacked the avocados and bit four staffers.
Just two months prior, in October 2020, the Big Apple was ranked No. 3 on the list of “America’s Rattiest Cities” by pest control company Orkin in the wake of growing rat problems stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, rodent rampages were still evident this past summer with outdoor dining reportedly also providing alfresco feasts for vermin.