Popular Southaven restaurant infested with rats, former employees claim

WATCH: Popular Southaven restaurant infested with rats, former employees claim

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — A popular restaurant in Southaven is infested with rats, according to a claim made by two former employees.

Those employees said they have documented the rodent problem for years.

And reports from the Mississippi Department of Health show there were multiple substantiated complaints made this year.

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In the video, an employee is seen showing off a rat he claims was caught inside the kitchen at Dale’s restaurant in Southaven.

That employee told FOX13 there are rats in the walls, in the ceiling, and the video shows a dead rat in a trap in the corner. He also claimed management went to great lengths to hide the problem from customers, even pretending there was a fire to get everyone out.

“The rat was under someone’s booth, they didn’t want them to know, so they told him to pull the alarm,” the former employee said.

He claims the owners are aware of the problem. They called in an exterminator.

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FOX13 reached out to the Mississippi State Department of Health Division of Food Protection regarding any complaints made.

A spokesperson confirmed three complaints have been filed against Dale’s Restaurant this year – all three of which were substantiated, and “corrective action was required in order to be in compliance.”

Health inspection reports dating back to 2010 show rodents and insects were found during inspections at least five different times. In each case, the restaurant was given a “C” rating.

But the issues were quickly fixed, and the grade was changed.

In June, the inspection by the health department gave Dale’s a “B,” but what they were marked down for is the same as every "C" grade – the presence of insects: animals and rodents.

FOX13 spoke to Dale's Assistant General Manager, Chris Harrold, after the video that claims to have been recorded inside the restaurant showed rats inside the kitchen.

He said the video was posted by a disgruntled former employee, but he said he doesn't know for sure if the video is actually from his kitchen.

“It may be. It really may be. I’m not for sure,” said Harrold. “Just to be honest, I don’t know if that’s our restaurant or not.”

Harrold said one of the disgruntled employees was fired for biting another employee’s ear off, and the other quit.

Management invited FOX13 inside to look at the conditions of the restaurant. Harrold said there are no rodents inside the restaurant.

“There’s no rodents, there’s nothing here. Period,” Harrold said.