Virginia Arby's shuts down under pressure from local rats

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In an average news-gathering day, we at The Takeout find a lot of restaurant shutdown news. Like, a lot. Enough that we’re sporadically pushed to wonder why we have ever, at any point, eaten food from a different location. Yet most of the time it’s pretty run-of-the-mill stuff, restaurants shuttered for improper cleaning or storage procedures and the like. But every once in a while, an establishment crosses such an appalling line that we’re unable to look away.

WSET recounts the strange Thursday of an Arby’s located in Lynchburg, Virginia, which has since been temporarily closed after a shift manager reportedly refused to open the location over health concerns. More specifically, she arrived to find rats (and rat droppings) on the fry station.


Shift manager Talesha Banks observed that “They are big, they are big now like New York size big. No exaggeration... They got on the fry station and had droppings on the fry station and my concerns with trying to serve to the public is they are on everything.” Banks also noted that the location has reportedly been dealing with the infestation “for months,” eventually beginning to turn away customers over concerns for their health.

Another former employee has also gone public about the Lynchburg location’s unacceptable conditions:

Strangely, however, the general manager re-opened the Arby’s for business later that day, before it was shut down pending a future health inspection. Arby’s issued a statement in response to the news: “At Arby’s, we take the cleanliness of our restaurants seriously. We immediately conducted an internal investigation, in addition to a proper remediation, cleaning and sanitization of the restaurant. We have decided to temporarily close our Lynchburg location to ensure it meets our high operating standards. We will be working closely with the local health department, and look forward to reopening soon to once again serve our guests in Lynchburg.”


The Lynchburg Arby’s may have had the meats, but it also had the rats.