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“We’re conditioned poorly in the United States to think of rodents as rats in sewers and such things,” said Rexford D. Lord, a capybara expert at Indiana University of Pennsylvania whose book, “Mammals of South America,” which profiles the capybara, was published this year by the Johns Hopkins University Press.


“Actually capybara meat is delicious,” Mr. Lord said in a telephone interview. “It’s more like rabbit than chicken, though when dried with sea salt in Venezuela it acquires a fishy flavor.”



Rodents on the plate, don't taste like chicken

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Hasn't almost every food borne hepatitis outbreak been traced to a restaurant employee who did not wash hands?

Can rats be trained to wash their hands? If so, don't we owe them at least that much?


Just as long as you don't try to train them to use toilets, like some people have been known to do with their (poor, poor) cats. :blink:


Actually, rats are very clean. The one potential snag there being that not only do they "wash" their hands pretty constantly, like dogs and cats, they "wash" everything else too. :D Probably still have cleaner mouths than most people do though...


What's more worrisome to me about the Taco Bell thing is that if the place is actually overrun with the critters, you can pretty much count on there being no semblance of sanitary precautions in general. One rat scampering for its life, OK - a party with everyone's friends invited, that's a different story... they must have had out of town guests staying over for weeks getting ready for that!


As for the city's response, what could one expect? At this point, Manhattan is (almost) as much a "resort town" as anything else and it simply wouldn't do to have this kind of thing getting national press without the city being able to say they've cracked down hard on it. Gotta keep those tourists coming...

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Eater claims that the Park Avenue Les Halles, which it wrongly describes as Anthony Bourdain's restaurant, has been closed by the DoH. The restaurant, according to Eater, attributes this to a little flood damage.


Now if someone, abiding by Chowhound policy, posts that the restaurant has been shuttered but doesn't give any reason, I hope readers won't assume it's anything to do with rats.

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NY Times reports the inspector who signed off on a clean bill of health at the Taco Bell / KFC a day before the rat-fest has been canned. Seems she missed some obvious signs of infestation, and may not have done the job she was expected to perform.



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