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Fil-Am, hubby say they found dead rat in soup from New York City resto

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 18 2023 09:13 AM

A Filipino-American said she and her husband sued a restaurant in New York City after they found a rat in their takeout order recently.

Eunice Lucero-Lee earlier this week posted on her Instagram photos and a video showing what she says is a dead rat in a soup the couple ordered from Gammeeok, a Korean restaurant in NYC’s K-town or Koreatown. 

Lucero-Lee, a senior editor for an online women’s health magazine, wrote on her instagram post: “LAWSUIT HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN FILED!"

“Disabling comments for now because of our now-ongoing lawsuit against Hanpool Inc aka Gammeeok. Have also reported to the NYC Health Dept.” 

Her husband Jason Lee’s voice is also heard on the Instagram video post saying: “So disgusting. There’s a dead rat in our soup. We just puked.”

Screencap from Eunice Lucero-Lee's Instagram (eunichiban) post
Screencap from Eunice Lucero-Lee's Instagram (eunichiban) post

The restaurant responded via their social media, saying the couple’s allegations are “fabrications” and that the restaurant is looking at legal actions against them. 

An eater dot com article said the restaurant posted on Lucero-Lee's post, saying: (Comment section is now closed/deleted) 

“Hi. This is Gammeeok. We are sorry for this situation. What is posted on SNS is not the truth. We have been regularly inspected every two weeks by a disinfection company for several years, and there have been no traces of mice. They demanded money and threatened, and since we refused, they are attacking us through social media. Therefore, we plan to take legal action.”

The restaurant said that there is no way they could not have noticed a rat that big being placed in a takeout order.

“When we transferred the soup, we served it four times with a ladle while the staff watched it with their eyes. If there was a mouse that big, there's no way I wouldn't have missed it. There is also a video recording of the recording process. We checked the whole process of making the soup, but we couldn't find any problems," it said.

The restaurant said, “The other party submitted a health department record, but if you look at the details, most of the penalty points are due to the low temperature due to the use of an old refrigerator, and there is no information about cockroaches or rats. The issues are now completely fixed.” 

But a quick check on the NYC’s Health Department website for inspection results showed Gammeeok had been issued 67 violations on March 15. 

Violations listed include the following: 

“Evidence of rats or live rats in establishment's food or non-food areas.” 

“Establishment is not free of harborage or conditions conducive to rodents, insects or other pests.”

There were 79 violations issued by the health department also on Jan. 18, 2023, including: “Establishment is not free of harborage or conditions conducive to rodents, insects or other pests.” 

It also indicated that the restaurant has been closed.

Screencap from New Year City Health Department Website
Screencap from New Year City Health Department Website

In the last slide of Lucero-Lee's Instagram post, the couple underscored that they are not encouraging any racist or race-based hate. 

"We have been going to this restaurant for a decade and are otherwise proud supporters of Asian cuisine and culture,” they wrote. 

"This incident is in no way to be used to fuel race-based hate or prejudice and I will have an issue with anyone who uses these posts to fit that narrative.”

Lucero-Lee said they are sharing their experience "to spread awareness and hopefully make sure the right people are held accountable."


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