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FALSE: Street Vendor Caught Using Rat Meat in His Soup

Last week, a report entitled, “The shocking truth about hu tieu street vendors,” wherein a hu tieu vendor was caught using rat in his soups, spread like wildfire across Vietnam's social media networks. Immediately, many called the story's validity into question and enterprising journalists at Tuoi Tre took to the streets and found it to be a complete fabrication.

The story went something like this:

 

An unnamed journalist, who sometimes rides along with police patrols, witnessed a robber steal a necklace from woman on the street. A police chase ensued and the suspects were apprehended. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Trying to recover the necklace which was thrown by one of the robbers before his arrest, an officer followed up on a tip that it may have been thrown onto a nearby noodle cart.

When asked to remove the lid from his noodle pot, the vendor initially refused but eventually gave in when local police arrived. After lifting its top, they discovered 5 huge, dead, white rats.

The vendor admitted that he used rat meat in his soups and banh-gio for at least 4 years.

 

Finding it a bit unbelievable, Tuoi Tre began to fact-check each detail of the story. After talking to the police and vendors, their suspicions were confirmed and they determined that the story was a hoax.

While ultimitley untrue, the false report has damaged the reputation of street-side hu tieu vendors. One told Tuoi Tre that her sales had decreased from 50 to 35 bowls per day after the story broke. 

We guess the old adage, "any press is good press" doesn't apply here.

 

[Tuoi Tre // Photo via Matthieu Aubry]


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