Rat Meat
More than 300,000 pounds of rat meat was sold to American grocery stores and restaurants as chicken, the latest Internet hoax claims. Don't worry, though. It's just a sham. Getty Images

New hoax alert: Thousands of netizens were shocked to hear the boneless wings they ingested during Super Bowl 50 were actually made of rat meat, not chicken. Fortunately, the viral story is nothing more than a cruel hoax.

That’s right. The “report” that claims rat meat was substituted for chicken is false. Snopes, a website that famously dismantles internet rumors, confirmed the story is a phony.

The story comes courtesy of World News Daily, which is a satirical news site. Ironically, they don’t consider themselves sardonic, “per se.” Check out their description: “While not 'satire,' per se, World News Daily Report follows the old-school tabloid-styled faux-journalism of its predecessors, such as the Weekly World News.” Their current breaking news is, “hermaphrodite impregnates self, gives birth to hermaphrodite twins.”

But back to the rat meat absurdity. More than 300,000 pounds of rat meat were sold as chicken wings in restaurants and grocery stores in America and might have been eaten on Super Bowl Sunday, the fake story claims. It even contains a fictitious quote from a supposed Food and Drug Administration inspector Ronald Jones.

“The Super Bowl is a period where chicken wings are in high demand and where restaurants and grocery stores often face a penury,” Jones supposedly said. “This is where the illegal market comes in. Although there is nothing dangerous about consuming rat meat if it is properly cooked, United States laws prohibit the import and sales of rat meat as a comestible item.”

Rat meat is sold as chicken meat all the time, according to another fake quote. This time, it was from supposed FBI coordinator Allen James. “Criminal organizations see the Super Bowl as a period to cash in on different manners, be it illegal bets or gambling but also counterfeit meat,” James said, as per the hoax.

The news site first published the story Feb. 6, but it went viral when the blog Urban Image Magazine was duped and reported it as truth Monday. The blog Media Take Out reported it like it was fact a day later.

Don’t be alarmed if the hoax pops up on Facebook, as phony stories have a tendency to go viral.

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