A video of a woman grilling rats Rotisserie style in broad daylight on Jackson Heights on 82nd street in Queens, New York, is going viral on the internet. The footage shows the woman spinning the de-haired bodies of alleged sewer rats over a large grill, while people just walk by like nothing crazy is going on.
Some people did not even know it was legal for someone to cook rats out in the open like that. According to the New York City Health Code, it is unlawful to sell or offer for sale any food that is adulterated, misbranded, or otherwise unfit for human consumption. However, there is no specific mention of rodents as a prohibited food source.
Others were appalled that the people walking by the woman in the video were not repulsed by the smell of burning rat flesh. Many people were mentioning the risks of getting parasites or diseases from rat meat. Ironically reports about rat lungworm being on the rise again in some southern states were just echoing the airwaves last week.
The video has sparked a debate on social media about the ethics and safety of eating rodents, especially in a public place. While some users defended the woman’s right to choose her own food, others expressed concern about the potential health risks and environmental impacts of consuming rats.
The woman’s identity and motive for grilling rats remain unknown. It is also unclear if she was selling them, or eating them herself. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has not issued any statement regarding the incident.