McDonalds has strongly denied allegations that a customer was served a rat’s head in their burger at a branch in central Mexico on Sunday.
The attorney general’s office in the State of Mexico closed down the branch in the town of Tlalnepantla de Baz that night after receiving a complaint from the customer who claimed to have been sold the rodent meat.
Photos circulating on social networks appear to show the whiskered rat head splattered in ketchup beside a half eaten burger.
— Sin Embargo (@SinEmbargoMX) November 10, 2015
McDonalds hits back
The news quickly made global headlines, leading McDonalds to go on the offensive. In an interview with Mexican newspaper El Universal on Monday, McDonalds spokesman Félix Ramírez claimed the alleged victim had falsified the event in an attempt to extort the burger chain. “They must have planted (the rat) there, it’s totally impossible that this has happened in one of our restaurants,” he said. “We’re carrying out an investigation to find out why the client decided to extort a brand like ours.”
Ramírez also claimed that the customer was drunk at the time of the incident and affirmed that McDonalds has not been presented with any evidence of the supposed rat burger. McDonalds México also replied to dozens of concerned customers on Twitter, repeatedly stating: “We’ve investigated rigorously and said acts are totally false, the animal was planted there.”
Mexican authorities investigate
The attorney general’s office has reportedly called in morphology and veterinary experts to determine whether the rat meat is genuine, while the state health department and the federal commission for the protection against sanitary risks are also investigating the incident. If the allegations are proven, McDonalds could face charges of serving food or drink the puts consumers’ health at risk.
The unappetising incident sparked the #McRata hashtag, with Twitter users posting an array of memes mocking the news.
The supposed rat burger comes just months after a customer in a Los Angeles branch of KFC claimed to have been served a deep-fried rat.
However, in that case lab tests confirmed that the rat-shaped serving was in fact just breaded chicken meat.