Chinese Restaurant in Atlanta Closed Over Rats is Fake; No Bag of Rats in ‘Asian’ Restaurant

May 19, 2014 Updated: May 20, 2014

A viral Facebook post saying that rats forced the closure of an “Asian” or Chinese food place is fake.

A variation of the hoax has been around for the past 10 or so years.

“A popular Asian/Chinese restaurant bistro here in Atlanta was closed down this morning after authorities received a tip that the owner was accepting shipments of rats and mice from a vendor to prepare in his dishes,” it reads.

“The owner and his wife were arrested early this morning and charges are not known at this time. After a full search of the kitchen, authorities found, packaged rats, mice, kittens, puppies and a large frozen hawk. The restaurant is a popular gathering spot for local celebrities such as Whitney Houston and husband Bobby Brown, Jermaine Dupree, Janet Jackson, Usher, Monica, Puffy, TI, Ludacris, Lil Jon, Toni Braxton, TLC and others. The restaurant has locations off Peachtree Road and Alpharetta near North Pointe Mall.”

According to, the bag of rats image “came from a website that sells food for pet snakes, not a restaurant freezer.”

“The ever-so-slightly revised text dates from 2005, when we first found it circulating via forwarded email. The urban legend on which it’s based, the notion that unscrupulous restaurant owners (usually ethnic minorities) cut costs by butchering rodents or kidnapped household pets to serve in place of chicken and beef, is far older — at least two centuries old by some estimates,” writes hoax debunker and writer, David Emery.

AP update: Petco to stop selling pet treats made in China 

NEW YORK (AP) — Petco said Tuesday that it will stop selling dog and cat treats made in China by the end of this year due to ongoing fears that the imported treats are making pets sick.

Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration haven’t been able to figure out why pets are getting ill from the treats since the agency began receiving reports of illnesses in 2007.

In an update last week, the FDA said it has received more than 4,800 complaints of pet illnesses and more than 1,000 reports of dog deaths after eating Chinese-made chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats. The FDA said tests found antiviral drug amantadine in some samples of imported chicken jerky treats sold a year or more ago, but doesn’t think it caused the illnesses. The FDA said it will continue to investigate.

Petco said that shoppers have asked it to stop selling treats from China. The pet food retailer said it is switching them out for treats that are made in the U.S., New Zealand, Australia and South America.

It already began cutting down on the amount of Chinese-made treats three years ago, said Petco Vice President John Sturm. It expects to completely get rid of them in all its 1,300 stores by the end of this year. The San Diego company doesn’t sell any pet food made in China.

Rival PetSmart Inc., which is based in Phoenix and also runs about 1,300 stores, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.