BANGKOK (AP) — McDonald's in Thailand has apologized to customers after a video surfaced online showing a large rat scurrying around a dessert counter at one of its restaurants.
The fast-food giant confirmed in a statement that a rat had rummaged through its outlet in a shopping mall in the city of Hat Yai in southern Thailand, and blamed the incident on the unhygienic neighborhood where the complex is located.
"We checked security footage and found that the accusation is true. A rat ran into the restaurant," McDonald's Thailand said in a statement Sunday. "We ordered the restaurant to clean all of its equipment and the whole restaurant, especially the dessert counter, right away."
The 21-second video clip was posted on YouTube on March 21, and the company became aware of the rodent issue the following morning and immediately ordered the thorough cleaning, it said. The video had a revival last week and got more attention, including local news coverage, which prompted the official statement.
The Hat Yai outlet "is located near street vendors and public sewers that are a breeding area for rats and insects," McDonald's Thailand said. It added that McDonald's pays close attention to hygiene and regularly hires pest control services as does the shopping mall, Lee Garden Plaza.
As a result of the video, McDonald's has asked the mall to increase rat control measures around the complex and Hat Yai public health officials to increase inspections of street vendors and the restaurant itself, the statement said.