Texas Whataburger Location Reopens After Viral Video Shows Mouse Jumping Into Deep Fryer

A Whataburger location in Bastrop, Texas has reopened after a disturbing video went viral over the weekend. Facebook user Brushawn Lewis captured footage of a mouse in the food prep area of the restaurant on Saturday. But it gets so much worse than a mouse just waltzing through the burger joint.

The mouse can be seen in the Facebook video scurrying around the food prep area, as customers talk about the situation in the background, calling it “nasty.” A Whataburger employee then says that people can get their money back, as long as they have a receipt.

“Can I just pick it up?” someone asks about the rodent.

“You can take that motherfucker home if you want to,” someone else replies.

The mouse, which is repeatedly referred to as a “rat” in the video, tries to get away as a customer can be seen trying to capture the scared creature. The poor mouse then jumps into the bubbling grease of the deep fryer. Everyone seems horrified by what they just saw, though some took the opportunity to joke about “deep fried rat.”

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“When it’s cooked, it’ll float to the top,” Lewis says in the Facebook video as an employee tries to turn off the deep fryer.

You can watch the video on Facebook if you really feel the urge to see it. The video has over 2 million views as of this writing.

The video has spawned memes about the Pixar movie Ratatouille as well as social media posts from people calling the rodent “suicidal.”

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Whataburger sent a statement to local TV news station KVUE explaining, “we closed the restaurant out of an abundance of caution and notified pest control. The entire restaurant has since been cleaned and sanitized.”

In a Facebook post that has since been deleted, the restaurant also insisted that this location has never had problems like this before:

We addressed this situation as quickly as possible, reinforcing procedures with our Family Members. While we’ll continue to be very diligent, it’s important to know there was no history of this type incident at this unit and there is no ongoing issue.

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It’s not clear why Whataburger’s Facebook apology was removed, but it seems likely that the fast food restaurant has decided not to engage with trolls on the page. Multiple people have taken to the page to complain about rodent infestation, though it seems pretty clear that they’re just trolls who have never actually visited this particular Whataburger.

Restaurants have always had to deal with bad reviews after a situation like this. But viral videos on the internet have introduced a new level of discomfort whenever something isn’t quite right. It’s one thing to read about a mouse in a kitchen, it’s another thing to watch that mouse run around the restaurant and then jump into the deep fryer.

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For whatever it’s worth, the Bastrop Whataburger location currently has a Yelp rating of three stars, while other location nearby has an ever lower rating. The Whataburger in Highland Village, Texas, has just two stars.

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Matt Novak

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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