You Read That Right - A Rat Head Was Found In A School Lunch In China

Chinese authorities from a provincial investigative task force in Jiangxi have confirmed that the bizarre object found in a student's school lunch was, in fact, the head of a rat, China Daily reports. Previously, the school and the district's market supervision bureau had asserted that this was not the case.

The food safety scandal that has had the world atwitter began on June 1, after a student from Jiangxi Industry Polytechnic College posted a video on social media following the discovery of a mysterious object in the food he was served at the school's canteen. In the video, the student uses chopsticks to pull the object off his plate, and in bringing it close to the camera, it becomes clear that it is the head of a rodent — complete with fur, teeth, eye sockets, and whiskers. After telling one of the canteen's employees that he found a rat's head in his lunch, the employee can be heard saying, "It's duck meat!" The student presses the issue, pointing out that the object has both teeth and fur, however, the employee maintains that the object is nothing more than duck meat.

The jarring video quickly went viral, and with many people on the internet backing up the student's claims, the school decided to take action. On June 3, the college issued a statement suggesting that the object was not a rat's head, but rather a piece of duck neck.

Duck or rat: That is the question

As China Daily notes, the college's statement said that the student invited some classmates to inspect the object, and they confirmed that it was a piece of duck neck. The student also posted a clarification video, claiming that he was wrong about the object being rat meat.

That same day, an official from the district's market supervision bureau took to the Jiangxi Radio and Television Station where he asserted that officers "repeatedly compared the object and confirmed it was indeed a piece of duck neck." However, this did little to quell public outrage.

In fact, many people became suspicious that both the school and the government agency were lying, and that the student had been pressured to release the clarification video. What's more, the Henan Business Newspaper reported that students at the school were encouraged by staff to stay tight-lipped about the situation, per WhatsOnWeibo.

With no end to the scandal in sight, the Jiangxi government hired a task force comprised of officials from education, public security, and market supervision authorities to investigate the matter on June 10. China Daily reports that a week later, the task force came forward with the news that the school and the market supervision bureau "did not conduct an investigation carefully," and that animal experts had confirmed that the object was, in fact, the head of a rodent.

The canteen has since had its license revoked, and both the school and the government agency will face punishment for the attempted cover-up.