Rats populate much of New York City, as was illustrated by a federal food safety case settled this past Friday.

It all started in April 2022 when federal investigators checked out a meat and poultry warehouse on NYC’s Allen Street, only to discover what might’ve been the city’s best-fed rat population.

The rats consumed 43,000 pounds of meat and poultry inside the Ya Feng Trading warehouse.

Rodent droppings covered the meat containers with nesting materials, and a dead mouse was found inside a walk-in cooler. During the inspections, a rat ran up an investigator’s leg as the rodents scattered for a nearby cooler.

With the inspection, a federal lawsuit was filed with Manhattan prosecutors charging the warehouse with violating storage and inspection laws for meat and poultry products.

The civil case was settled Friday with a Consent Decree announced by Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It was his office that brought the lawsuit over the rats.

Federal District Judge Valeri Caproni approved the Consent Decree.

Under the agreement, the Ya Feng company, owner Linmin Yang, and warehouse manager Kong Ping Ni accept being barred from any work or business involving meat and poultry.    

The New York Times reported that as soon as the details case were made public, it “immediately entered the pantheon of New York City rat tales.”

Those include the 2020 case when a man fell through the sidewalk in the Bronx and into a pit “teaming with rats” or when rats emerge from apartment walls or up through toilets.

“Perhaps most famous was Pizza Rat, a large brown rat that went viral after a video emerged showing it dragging a large slice of pizza down the stairs to an L line station in Manhattan in 2015, the NYT reports.

Meat Rats were shut down with chicken, pork, and other meat products. Maybe it was a victory for the city’s first rat czar.

Yang did sign a statement in 2022, admitting to the Court that the warehouse did have a “serious rodent issue.”

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