Restaurant on rat found in their soup: ‘this incident did not happen’

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The Vancouver restaurant thrust in the spotlight thanks to an Instagram video depicting what appears to be a rat in a bowl of soup served to a customer is speaking out about the incident, claiming it “did not happen.”

rat in soup
@pisun_ne_ne /Instagram

Crab Park Chowdery released a statement on Jan. 1, 2019, explaining that they have looked into the situation, and “and have unequivocally concluded there is no way this incident could have happened in our kitchen or as a result of any actions by our staff prior to being prepared and served.”

The “rat in soup” video was posted on Instagram on the afternoon of Dec. 27, and soon was being widely circulated online and in the press. The video claims to show a customer spooning a rat carcass out of a bread bowl of soup served at Crab Park Chowdery.

The soup, however, is not prepared at the Chowdery itself, but rather the restaurant had been renting a kitchen space on the premises of Mamie Taylor’s to prepare their soups and chowders for delivery to their Gastown storefront.

In the wake of the incident, Vancouver Coastal Health shut down Mamie Taylor’s commissary kitchen due to evidence of rodent activity in the space; Crab Park Chowdery was permitted to remain open, since the soup was not made at that location.

On Dec. 29, Mamie Taylor’s was given the all-clear to re-open, and they’ve taken the additional measure to end their commissary rental program, however they also have cut ties with Crab Park Chowdery, who have been using their food truck to prepare their soups in the meantime.

“We are 100% confident this rodent could not have come from our establishment,” says Crab Park Chowdery.

The restaurant does not detail how they conducted their investigation, or how they believe the rat came to be on the spoon as visible in the widely-seen Instagram video.

Previously:

The person who posted the video did so on the Instagram account @pisun_ne_ne, which prior to Dec. 27 had not been active since Sept. 2017. The account holder, who says they are “the friend” of the female customer whose soup contained the rat carcass, says her active account is @adelaiiine.

There has been a lot of social media activity surrounding this incident, including several allegations that the video was faked. However, Global News consulted a former RCMP video analyst who says “there’s a good possibility that somehow the rat ended up in the soup,” though with just a brief Instagram clip, it’s hard to know what happened in the moments prior and after that we will never know.

The video remains live on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

So i am going to talk about this place @crabparkchowdery . Today my friend ordered Manhattan clam chowder and had a little surprise in it – A RAT. Well i don’t know what else to say about it…. this place just need to be closed or at least people have to be aware about this situation. The cafe is kinda popular though… I’m just trying to help people to avoid places like that. Its an awful feeling, it’s not a fly or a bug it’s a fucking big fat rat boiling in the soup pot, which means my friend was not the only who had a chance to try it. Thank you for you attention. #crabparkchowdery I do not force anyone to believe. This is my personal experience that I shared. Thanks for your attention again. My active page is @adelaiiine if you think this one is fake.

A post shared by (@pisun_ne_ne) on

The following is Crab Park Chowdery’s statement in full:

“Comment on recent alleged incident with rodent: Investigation concludes this incident did not happen. We’ve conducted a full investigation into the recently reported incident of a rodent allegedly making its way into our prepared food and have unequivocally concluded there is no way this incident could have happened in our kitchen or as a result of any actions by our staff prior to being prepared and served.
• We stand by our commitment to the highest food safety standards and procedures.
• Everyone is invited down to tour our facility and see all of our food safety procedures.

After conducting an extensive investigation into all of our food handling procedures, we are 100% confident this rodent could not have come from our establishment. We stand by our commitment to excellence in food quality and service. Please note that in addition to our own in-depth investigation, at no point did Vancouver Coastal Health ever close us down and that point alone should speak volumes to our establishments operating standards.

We Invite everyone down to tour our facilities to see for yourself

If any questions remain we implore you to come down and see our operation first hand, the safety measures in place and to meet our staff. You will see for yourself just how much we all love what we do, our commitment to excellence and why we are so loved by the community.”

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome. A fifth generation Vancouverite, she was previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of LAist.com. Lindsay grew up in Vancouver and Toronto, then spent over 20 years in Los Angeles, where ahe earned her Masters in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com