KFC has always been a fast food chain thrown into controversy. From their rebranding from Kentucky Fried Chicken to KFC, to rumors of mutant chickens being used in their meals and now to allegations that a man in California had just been served a deep fried rat instead of chicken.

A deeper look into the sensational story reveals that just like everything on the Internet, not all is as it first appears to be. Or at least, not all is as social media first makes it out to be.

Devorise Dixon, a security guard from L.A., claimed that instead of chicken tenders, one of the breaded meat in his take-out was a deep fried rat, with its tail still on.

He told a radio show that he took a bite out of his chicken tender and reeled from its "nasty" taste. When he looked down, he saw it was a rat.

Rather than returning to the store immediately, he put the suspect tender in a clear plastic bag, took photos and a video of it, and said he went back to the KFC store where he bought it two days later, where a manager allegedly apologized for mistakenly giving him a rat.

Posted by Devorise Dixon on Sunday, 14 June 2015

A bunch of red flags show up in this story. For one, if it was indeed a rat, who would have the time to catch it, skin it (but leave on the tail), and prepare it just like any other chicken tender served at KFC? Next, KFC gets all their chicken tenders pre-battered so it's impossible that a rat was mistakenly battered up and cooked at a local restaurant.

And where exactly is Dixon's bite into the alleged rat? We suppose it could be on the other side of the chicken tender, which conveniently is not shown in any of his posts, photos or videos that have gone viral.

Finally, using our own investigative tool known as keypress Control + (zoom in for browsers), a quick enlargement on Dixon's own photo shows where some of the breading has come off and underneath it shows, at least our own non-expert eyes, some white chicken meat inside.

KFC's official social media accounts have been quick to jump on every single mention of this incident, saying they are taking the allegations seriously and are investigating the matter.

They also said that they have been "aggressively" trying to contact Dixon to ask him about his claims of being served deep fried rat. But Dixon is suddenly quiet. KFC says he has refused to talk to them either personally or through a lawyer, and has not given them the alleged rat for testing, which they are offering to do for free with an independent lab to verify his claim.

The story about KFC serving rats to its customers has been around for decades. As hoax-debunking site, Snopes.com explains:

"The 'Kentucky Fried Rat' tale is one of the hoaxiest of food contamination urban legends, and some elements of its spread are easy to explain."

The website also states that one of the earliest incarnations of this hoax/urban legend was in 1976 when, according to the myth, "An old lady ordered out for Kentucky Fried Chicken. She was eating along when she noticed teeth; she pulled back the crust and discovered she was eating a rat. She had a heart attack and died, and her relatives sued Kentucky Fried Chicken for a lot of money."

Web news outlets such as Cosmopolitan, Mirror UK, and CNN have picked up the story. Dixon was even interviewed on a radio show hosted by Randy Economy.

Hundreds of people on Facebook and Twitter are also posting that they have shared his story all over the country and around the world.

However, just like with KFC, Dixon is no longer speaking to reporters about his alleged rat find in his chicken tenders meal.

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