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SE Popeyes closed by DC Health after viral TikTok video shows rats in kitchen, DC councilmember says

17 health code violations were found at the most recent inspection, including rat droppings being found, and food being stored at improper temperatures.

WASHINGTON — A D.C. Popeye's location made major waves over the weekend, following a viral video on social media showing numerous rats running around its kitchen, and climbing the walls. A DC Councilmember says the restaurant has been closed by DC Health. 

The Ward 6 restaurant located at 409 8th Street SE is the backdrop to a TikTok video posted on Oct. 11 that shows a man who says he is delivering raw chicken enter the restaurant while it's still dark out and turn on the kitchen lights. 

Several rats scurry across the floor and under boxes. At least seven rats run up the wall into the ceiling tiles. 

"You still love that chicken from Popeyes?" the video poster says as he turns the camera back on himself. 

DC Councilmember Charles Allen responded via Twitter to comments on the viral video asking if he was "good with this?" 

"Absolutely not is right!" tweeted Councilmember Allen Saturday morning. "@_DCHealth inspected and closed this site yesterday." 

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WUSA9 reached out to DC Health for comment but has not heard back. 

This location of Popeyes has been inspected by DC Health four times in 2021, once as a routine inspection (April), twice for follow-up appointments (February and June) and most recently, on Oct. 28, as part of a complaint. 

The October inspection report shows more than a dozen violations, including rat droppings being found. Four of the violations were classified as "priority violations." 

The most serious of the violations found incorrect temperatures in the walk-in freezers, leading to the temporary suspension of the restaurant's license.

"Potentially hazardous food (time/temperature control for safety food items in the refrigerator were not held at the proper temperatures and food in the freezer was beginning to thaw," the report says. "You are hereby ordered to Cease & Desist use of the walk-in freezer and walk-in refrigerator EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY."  

Back in April, four violations were found, including citing the exterior door as "not rodent proof" and finding dead bugs in the ceiling tiles. Both violations were supposed to be fixed with 14 days, per DC Health's inspection report. 

WATCH: Here's the original video posted on TikTok on Oct. 11


#popeyeschicken #mickeymouse #ratsfarm #runandhide

♬ original sound - blaqazzrick01

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