Food  |  News & Politics

Capitol Hill Popeyes Shut Down After Viral TikTok Video of Rats in the Kitchen

An inspection report found 17 violations, including, yes, rat droppings.

Photo by Andwell via iStock.

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

A guy who says he delivers raw chicken to DC-area locations of the fast-food chain made the video showing himself entering the storefront at 409 8th St., SE before it opens. “It’s this joint right here 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 into the ceiling, while more race across the floor. He says he spots around 15 in total.

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


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♬ original sound – blaqazzrick01

A health inspection report from Thursday, October 28, shows a total of 17 violations, including rat droppings outside near the grease bin, openings in the kitchen ceiling, and water pooled in the walk-in fridge, dishwashing area, and manager’s office. However, the violations that actually got the restaurant shut down? Improper temperatures in the walk-in fridge and freezer where raw chicken and other potentially hazardous foods were held. The thermometers for both were out of order. Popeyes was instructed to dispose of all the food and cease using the fridge and freezer. The restaurant remains closed.

“Food safety and cleanliness is a top priority at Popeyes,” the company said in an emailed statement. “This restaurant has been temporarily closed, and the Franchisee who owns and operates this location is taking the appropriate steps to address the issue.”

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.