Campus 'duck neck' or 'rat head' row is food for thought

Zhu Qing
Education authorities in Jiangxi Province launch an investigation after a student finds an alleged dead rat head in a canteen meal, which college officials claim is a duck neck.
Zhu Qing

Education authorities in east China's Jiangxi Province said they have launched an investigation after a student found an alleged dead rat head in a meal he bought at the campus canteen, which college officials, after a preliminary investigation, claimed was a duck neck.

The student of Jiangxi Industry Polytechnic College in Nanchang, the provincial capital, discovered the black, hairy object in a meal he bought from the school canteen. He posted a video of the object online on June 1.

Campus 'duck neck' or 'rat head' row is food for thought
Ti Gong

A university student in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, recorded a video claiming that a foreign object, suspected to be a "rat head," was found in his meal bought from the school's canteen.

What seemed like a simple food safety problem took an unexpected twist two days later when the college issued a statement saying that the object in question, was, after "repeated examination and comparison," a duck neck.

The statement quoted the local market watchdog, which examined the object, as saying that it was a piece of duck neck.

On the same day, Jiang Xiexue, head of the Changdong branch of the market supervision administration of Nanchang's Gaoxin District, confirmed on a China Jiangxi Radio and TV Station program that local law enforcement officials had confirmed the strange item as a duck neck after repeated comparison.

On the following day, reported that the regional market watchdog would conduct professional comparisons on food samples from the college and announce the results after a period of 3-5 days. And the city's market supervision bureau also got involved in the investigation.

Despite the statement, many netizens insisted that what they saw in the video was a head of a dead rat. The debate over whether it was a "duck neck" or a "rat head" has sparked intense discussions online, with myriad memes being created.

Campus 'duck neck' or 'rat head' row is food for thought

One of the memes around the "duck or rat" controversy.

According to an expert who has been studying rodents for over 30 years, "If the image is authentic, there is an 80 percent likelihood that it depicts a rat's head," news portal reported on Tuesday.

"Having watched the initial video, it felt like a rat's head... It is crucial for the bureau to obtain a clearer image of the object and share the video online," Hu Xijin, a respected media personality and guest commentator for the Global Times English newspaper, shared on his account on the Twitter-like Weibo.

Despite the college canteen still operating, the number of students eating there has significantly decreased. Many students now choose to order takeout and eat in their dormitories instead, Dingduan News reported on Wednesday.

Some students have revealed that they were asked not to comment on the incident online, it added.

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