Restaurant Red Alert: Complaint alleges Thuy Cafe cooked rats in kitchen

3:20 AM, Aug 6, 2012   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- A complaint filed with the state alleges a St. Pete Vietnamese restaurant was cooking up rats in their kitchen.

The anonymous complaint was filed in late May against Thuy Cafe on 34th Street North in St. Petersburg. It states employees were capturing rats from the roof and garbage dumpster and cleaning the rodents before cooking them in a tin shack behind the business.

10 News stopped in trying to get answers about what was going on in the kitchen. An employee told us no one was available to answer our questions.

Cooking up rats is apparently common on Vietnamese street corners, but is less commonly accepted here in the U.S.

Customers we talked to found the complaint hard to believe and consider the restaurant very clean. But a June 4th state inspection (read full inspection here) paints a different picture with 18 critical violations. Among the problems: temperature violations; food and equipment stored on the floor; food stored in Home Depot paint buckets; and rodent droppings around the water heater and on top of the freezer.

On our visit, we found no evidence of rats being prepared, but during a glimpse inside that tin shack out back we spotted what appeared to be food on the floor uncovered, exposed to the elements.

Loyal customers say despite the problems they'll continue going back.

The restaurant owner did not respond to our request for comment.

Thuy Cafe had a follow up inspection July 17th (read inspection) where only three critical violations were found.

Take a look at Thuy Cafe's full inspection history here.

Outrageous Restaurant Red Alert reports:

Band Aid Soup: Customer served soup - with a band aid in it!

Terrible 10: 10 Tampa Bay restaurants with the WORST critical violations

Ceiling Roaches: McDonalds cited when roach falls from ceiling onto diner's food

Finger in salad: Pizza customer claims there was a fingertip in his salad

Baked Roaches: Roaches found baked into Pizza Supreme

More Restaurant Red Alert Reports:

Classic Homestyle Buffet, Tampa 1/11/12 

Frank's Family Restaurant, Hernando 1/18/12 

Big Easy Cajun, Brandon TownCenter 1/25/12 

CiCi's Pizza, Kenneth City 2/1/12 

China Express, Brandon 2/8/12

Daiquiri Deck, Maderia Beach 2/15/12 

Athenian Garden, Tyrone Area, St. Pete 2/22/12

Bob Evans (Ulmerton Road), Pho 97 (Pinellas Park), Kobe Japanese Steak House (New Tampa) 2/29/12 

China Jade, Carrollwood, 3/7/12 

Nicki's West 59th (Bradenton), Top's China Buffet (Brandon), 400 Beach (St. Petersburg) 3/14/12 

Hamburger Mary's Bar & Grille (Ybor City) 3/21/12 

Sandy's Restaurant, Indian Rocks Beach 3/28/12 

Most Watched Videos