You're in town for the weekend. You've seen the Statue of Liberty, eaten pizza at Lombardi's, and taken in the view from the Empire State Building? What else is there do to in New York? Why, see the KFC/Taco Bell rats of course! What could be a better Big Apple experience?
In a story that just keeps giving, the Times reports on how the rat-infested Sixth Avenue fast-food joint is drawing onlookers from near and far. One woman from Detroit says “We thought this was so exciting because it’s so nasty". Have you been? Gothamist wants to sell "I survived the 2007 Rat Invasion" t-shirts there this afternoon.
More importantly, questions are being raised on how the restaurant passed inspection just one day before it was shut down. To pass inspection a restaurant must have no more than 28 violation points on the Department of Health's inspection scale. The average score is 13 points. In December the restaurant was cited has having "evidence of live mice" and allegedly addressed the problem. WNBC reports the Health Department undertook another inspection on Thursday after three weeks of complaints. This time the restaurant passed with only 9 violation points. Hours later WNBC broadcast video of the cavorting rat colony.
In the understatement of the year, Health Department spokesman Geoffrey Cowley tells the Post "We're looking to see if the inspector dropped the ball on this." You think?
Friday's return inspection turned up evidence of rodent droppings, stagnant water on the floor, no heat, floor and ceiling holes, etc. adding up to a failing grade of 92 violation points. KFC/Taco Bell issued a statement that they are "totally focused on resolving the issue at this single restaurant," but the restaurant's owner, ADF Fifth Operating Corp. could not be reached for comment.