The 15-second video published April 1 by YouTube user Pjayone shows the live rodents scurrying around donuts and bagels and through open food bins at the shop on 37th Street and Eighth Avenue in the Garment District. Another video shows a clip of a rat seemingly stuck in a store window.
While some may have thought it to be an April Fools' prank, the Health Department apparently found evidence it was not. A sign bearing the message "CLOSED by order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene" hung in the store's window Thursday morning.
In a statement to Gothamist, the Health Department said, "Dunkin’ Donuts was closed by the Health Department yesterday because of a public health hazard that could not be corrected at the time of the inspection. In this case, the restaurant had a severe pest infestation that will require professional pest control services. They were also cited for other critical violations, including inadequate hand washing facilities and food not being protected from contamination."
Before the store was shuttered, Dunkin' Donuts told Gothamist in a statement that food safety is a top priority, as is maintaining a clean and safe restaurant.
"We have stringent food safety and quality standards, and we take great pride in the food and beverages we serve to our guests every day," the company said.