Assume that rodents (i.e. rats) steal part of your food and there is a norovirus outbreak.

With respect to norovirus, I think there is not much I can do to "prevent" myself from catching the illness; e.g. I can't inspect my Chipotle burrito and go, "ah ha! there's the norovirus right there on my tomatos!"

But with respect to rats falling out of the ceilings, I would like to know what kind of food safety precautions I should adhere to.

My question is: If rats eat part of my food, can I simply scoop away this part and then eat the rest of my food? Or is it not advisable to eat any of the food?

Is there like a "5 second rule" that I can follow?

  • Welcome to Health.SE. It seems to me that there is a lot of unnecessary information that can be removed from this question.
    – Narusan
    Jul 20, 2017 at 22:03
  • @Narusan, thanks for your comment, I have condensed the question a bit, while also providing some sources.
    – user9874
    Jul 20, 2017 at 22:09
  • Why would you choose to eat at a restaurant where there is a rat problem? That to me would signify more than a risk of rats landing on your guacamole when sitting to eat the "delicious" sounding food served there Jul 20, 2017 at 23:18
  • I have proposed an edit to your question which is removing the very detailed aspects (where, what type of food) so that it is a little bit more broad. This way, future readers from NewYork will also benefit from the answers. If this is according to your wishes, feel free to accept the edit and maybe think of a more fitting title for the question. If not, feel free to discard the edit.
    – Narusan
    Jul 22, 2017 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


You actually need to ask this question? If rats are falling on your food in the restaurant then they're running amuck in the kitchen eating and crapping on your food. So the answer is:

  1. Find the manager
  2. Demand a refund
  3. Leave
  4. Report it to the health department

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