Thousands expressed their disgust after one New York woman posted a photo on Sept. 18 of a rat inside of her meal from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.
Rosemary Thomas posted multiple pictures of the rat she says she found inside her chicken from the Popeyes restaurant in Harlem, New York, onto her Facebook page. Her post went viral.
"Friends and family, this is a meal Popeyes in Harlem served my daughter, my niece and sister," Thomas wrote. "This is clearly a rat and they have the nerve to have a 5 rating by the department of health."
While the Department of Health gave the restaurant an A grade in April 2016, even it observed the location was "not vermin proof" and had "harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist," in its 2015 inspection, DNA Info reports.
"People please free to share this picture," continued Thomas in her Facebook post. "Think about all the other rat that have been served and the lasting effect this will have on my daughter, niece and sister."
Thomas reportedly took her child to urgent care later that day after the girl experienced diarrhea and vomiting.
"Yesterday she ate nothing all day, all she said she could think of was the rat head after she consumed the crispy part," Thomas added.
Some speculated whether this was an accident, including Thomas herself.
"This not the breast, leg, wing or even the back!" Thomas wrote in a another comment. "Someone must have seen this before it is dipped in flour and batter. They open up a lot of these franchises in this inner cities and does things like these. I can only think other people might have eaten rat."
Others agreed the rat seemed to be intentionally placed in the food.
"This is terrible," another woman wrote. "Someone did that on purpose. They had to know what was being cooked. I am so sorry this happened to your daughter."
In the 24 hours since Thomas posted about the rat, over 100,000 people have shared the post, with most expressing shock and urging the mother to sue.
Popeyes spokeswoman Renee Kopowski said the corporation will be discussing the incident with the Harlem franchise owner.