Popeyes Restaurant Shut Down After Video of Rat Infested Kitchen Surfaces

A Popeyes restaurant in Washington D.C. has been shuttered after a video showing a large number of rats scurrying around the kitchen was posted online.

According to Fox5, the fast-food outlet at 409 8th St. SE, in D.C.'s Eastern Market, was shut down on Thursday for "health code violations."

The closure comes just over two weeks after a video was shared to TikTok by blaqazzrick01 showing the restaurant's alarming rat infestation. The clip can be viewed here.

In the video, the man explains that he delivers raw chicken to Popeyes restaurants in the D.C. area. "It's this joint right here," he says, pointing the camera at the storefront of the fast-food outlet, "that's wild s***."

Taking out a set of keys, he proceeds to unlock the restaurant's front door before taking viewers behind the counter to the kitchen area.

"Watch this s*** right here," he says as he moves to the back.

"This is Popeyes," the man says, turning on a light.

Almost immediately, two large rats can be seen scurrying from one side of the kitchen floor to the other - but it gets worse.

Two more are witnessed running across the floor while at least six can be seen climbing a cable on the restaurant kitchen's wall up into a visible cavity in the ceiling.

At one point the man bangs his hand against the stainless steel work counter, prompting yet more rats to go dashing in every direction.

The video then cuts back to the man, who asks viewers: "You still love that chicken from Popeyes?" in a reference to the fast-food company's popular jingle.

The man, who told followers he does not work for Popeyes, estimates seeing as many as 15 rats during his filming of the clip.

His video garnered 13,500 views on TikTok but ended up going viral on Twitter after being picked up by local news source Washingtonian Problems.

At the time of writing, the Twitter version of the video had been viewed over 546,000 times.

DC rats are wild! 😳🤭😷 pic.twitter.com/LbnKmgk5jD

— Washingtonian Problems (@WashProbs) October 29, 2021

Writing in a response to one concerned local resident who flagged the video, DC Councilmember Charles Allen confirmed "[The DC Department of Health] inspected and closed this site" on Thursday.

Fox5 has since reported that a sign has appeared outside the restaurant that reads: "This establishment is ordered CLOSED until further notice for a violation of the District of Columbia food code regulations, which presents an imminent health hazard to the public."

According to WTOP News, the incident represents the eighth complaint made about a Popeyes restaurant violation in the Washington D.C. area this year.

Newsweek has contacted blaqazzrick01 and Popeyes for comment.

Popeyes hit the headlines back in September after a video was posted on TikTok showing one of its workers putting ice inside a deep fat fryer as part of a dangerous viral trend.

In December 2020, the fast-food chain also found itself at the center of another dramatic story after a disgruntled customer spat at a security guard and then later returned with a firearm and began shooting at the establishment.

Popeyes
A Popeyes restaurant is seen on February 21, 2017 in Miami, Florida - a branch of the popular fast food chain has been closed after an alarming video was posted online. Joe Raedle/Getty Images