A New York franchise of the fast-food chain KFC-Taco Bell was closed immediately on Friday after a large population of rats was seen scurrying around the restaurant before it had opened. The Greenwich Village store on Sixth Avenue had been cited in December by the Department of Health for evidence of rats and cockroaches, even though it ultimately passed the inspection. Apparently, the rodent and insect problem at the store has been ongoing for three years.
The parent company, Yum Brands, is blaming construction work in the basement for the presence of the rats. In a prepared statement, the company said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“This is completely unacceptable and is an absolute violation of our high standards. We’ve talked with the franchisee, who is actively addressing this issue, as is evident by the preventative construction in the basement yesterday that temporarily escalated the situation. This restaurant has been closed and we are addressing the issue with the franchise owner. We will not allow this store to reopen until is it completely resanitized and given a clean bill of health.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The entire scene was captured on video and displayed all over the TV and Internet. Taco BellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s image has already been greatly damaged by the E. coli outbreak associated with the chain that sickened dozens of customers late last year.