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PARKWAY VILLAGE, SOUTHEAST MEMPHIS -
(WMC TV) - The Memphis-Shelby County Department of Health is investigating a Parkway Village Chinese restaurant after The Action News 5 Investigators discovered a score of animal carcasses hanging behind the establishment.
A viewer who requested anonymity sent more than a half-dozen pictures of the carcasses to Action News 5. The viewer snapped the pictures behind the Rice Bowl Chinese Restaurant, 2705 Getwell Rd.
Most of the carcasses appear to be some sort of bird. At least one of the viewer's pictures was of a whole animal.
When our crew arrived at the Rice Bowl at 8 a.m. Monday, there was no sign of the larger animal, but the bird-like carcasses remained, along with what appeared to be rib cutlets.
At our request, the health department dispatched one of its restaurant environmentalists. Not permitted to speak to media, she snapped pictures of the carcasses and clutter around the restaurant while covering her mouth.
A unidentified woman who acknowledged she is the Rice Bowl's proprietor said in broken English the carcasses are duck, drying in the sun.
When we asked her if she's planning to serve the meat to customers, she answered, "Oh, no! For me! No customers of mine. Only for me!"
We witnessed the department's environmentalist order the proprietor to remove the carcasses from the premises. The restaurant's owner packed them in a cardboard box and stashed it in the trunk of her car.
"We are investigating the allegation," said Elizabeth Hart, the health department's public information officer. "We'll update you once it is complete.
"The Shelby County Health Department encourages the WMC-TV viewers to contact our Environmental Sanitation Department at (901) 222-9203 if they observe potential practices which could compromise the food safety and hygiene at food service establishments."