Strange item in student’s meal in China confirmed to be rat’s head

A provincial investigation team said that the food business licence of the college canteen involved in the case had been revoked.

Jiang Chenglong

Jiang Chenglong

China Daily


June 19, 2023

BEIJING – A provincial investigative task force in Jiangxi on Saturday has overturned an earlier investigative conclusion by local authorities, confirming that an object found by a college student during a meal in a canteen was in fact the head of a rat, rather than the duck neck that was reported in the initial local level probe.

On June 1, a student from Jiangxi Industry Polytechnic College in Nanchang released a video on social media, showing a strange object found in his meal while dining at the college’s canteen, which was suspected as a mouse head.

The video, which showed how the black object looked like a mouse’s skull, soon sparked heated discussions online.

After the student’s video quickly went viral on social media on June 1, the college released a statement two days later claiming that the object found by the student in the video was not a rat’s head, but rather a duck neck.

“After investigation, the content of the video does not match the facts,” the school said in its statement. “The student in question invited classmates to identify the object at the time of the incident, and confirmed it as a duck neck, a normal food.”

The school stated that the student had made a written statement at the scene clarifying the video’s content, adding that the market supervision bureau in the high-tech development zone of Nanchang had also sent law enforcement officers to the school to conduct an investigation.

In a June 3 report by Jiangxi Radio and Television Station, Jiang Xiexue, the director of the bureau’s Changdong branch, said that law enforcement personnel “repeatedly compared the object and confirmed that it was indeed a duck neck.”

However, this conclusion did not quell the anger online, as many believed that the local market supervision bureau and the school were lying because the object in the video looked highly different from duck neck.

According to a Xinhua News Agency, on June 10, Jiangxi province has established a joint investigation team composed of various provincial departments, including education, public security and market supervision administration, to investigate the incident.

In the Saturday statement released by Jiangxi provincial government’s information office on its official Sina Weibo account, the joint investigation team determined that the object was not duck neck, after reviewing the canteen kitchen’s video; purchasing list; and interviewing the relevant canteen personnel, the student and witnesses.

The statement said the object was identified to be the head of a rodent, after the animal experts’ professional identification of the photos and videos taken by the students.

The provincial investigation team said on Saturday that the local market supervision department and the college “did not conduct an investigation carefully” and issued the wrong investigation conclusion.

It said that the food business license of the college canteen involved in the case had been revoked and the company and its legal representative had been given the maximum penalty, in accordance with the Food Safety Law and related regulations.

The provincial investigation team said, for the next phase, people from the college and market supervision bureau’s Changdong branch who are responsible would be punished strictly in accordance with the law.

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