- Associated Press - Friday, March 3, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials didn’t seize thousands of pounds of imported rat meat prior to the Super Bowl and they never issued a warning saying restaurants and food stores could be selling it as chicken wings, despite reports shared widely on multiple websites.

The stories posted last month claim federal customs officials at the Port of San Francisco seized several thousands of pounds of rat meat imported from China. They also mention an FDA warning that some 300,000 pounds of rat meat could still be in circulation as Super Bowl parties approached.

FDA spokesman Peter Cassell told The Associated Press that the agency “is not aware of the seizure of rat meat referenced” and the FDA never issued such a warning. The stories quote two agency officials, but the FDA has no record of any current or past employees with those names, Cassell said.

The account appears to have originated on World News Daily Report, a website that creates fictional news. Versions of the account were shared on other sites, including Urban Image Magazine.

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This story is part of an ongoing Associated Press effort to fact-check claims in suspected false news stories.

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