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.”
Crab Park Chowdery released a statement Jan. 1 explaining it has 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 appears 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 – the restaurant had been renting a kitchen space on the premises of Mamie Taylor’s to prepare its soups and chowders for delivery to its 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 its commissary rental program, however it also has cut ties with Crab Park Chowdery, which has been using its food truck to prepare soups in the meantime.
“We are 100 per cent confident this rodent could not have come from our establishment,” said Crab Park Chowdery in a statement.
The restaurant does not detail how it conducted its investigation, or how it believes the rat came to be on the spoon as visible in the widely-seen Instagram video.
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.
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.
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.”
This story has been updated since first published.