Capitol Hill Popeyes shut down after viral TikTok video of rats in the kitchen

Photo of Andwell via iStock.

The DC Health Department shut down a Popeyes near Eastern Market after a viral TikTok video revealed rats whizzing around the kitchen.

A guy who says he delivers raw chicken to the fast-food chain’s DC area made the video, which shows itself going into the storefront at 409 8th St., SE, before it opens. “It’s this joint that’s wild shit,” he says. When he gets to the kitchen, he turns on the light. At least eight rats can be seen running up the wall in the attic, while several are raging across the floor. He says he sees about 15 in total.

“Do you still love that chicken from Popeyes?” he asks.

@ blaqazzrick01

# pope #mickeymouse #ratfarm #run and hide

Lyd original sound – blaqazzrick01

A health inspection report from Thursday, October 28 shows a total of 17 violations, including rat spots outside near the grease tank, openings in the kitchen ceiling and water collected in the walk-in refrigerator, dishwasher area and manager’s office. But the violations that actually got the restaurant shut down? Incorrect temperatures in the walk-in refrigerator and freezer where raw chicken and other potentially dangerous foods were stored. The thermometers for both were out of order. Popeyes was asked to discard all the food and stop using the fridge and freezer. The restaurant remains closed.

“Food safety and cleanliness are a top priority at Popeyes,” the company said in an email statement. “This restaurant has been temporarily closed and the franchisee who owns and operates this place is taking the necessary steps to resolve the issue.”

Jessica Sidman

Food editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind DC’s food and drink scene. Before you join Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist for the Washington City Paper. She is from Colorado and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Leave a Comment