Patrons of the Red Flower Chinese Restaurant in Williamsburg, Kentucky, thought they were imagining things when they saw what appeared to be the bloody carcass of a freshly squashed deer being wheeled into the kitchen by employees.
"Two of the workers came in wheeling a garbage can and they had a box sitting on top of it," diner Katie Hopkins to WKYT. "And hanging out of the garbage can, they were trying to be real quick with it. So that nobody could see it. But there was like a tail, and a foot and leg. Sticking out of the garbage can and they wheeled it straight back into the kitchen."
Hopkins couldn't believe her eyes, so she called a health inspector to confirm.
Indeed, as Paul Lawson of the Whitley County health department later discovered, a dead deer was brought into the cooking area of the restaurant, and it was immediately shut down.
The owner's son told Lawson he found the roadkill by side of I-75 north.
"Many people eat there, a lot of locals eat there on lunch breaks and stuff," customer Tonya Thackers told WTVR. "It was very disturbing. There was actually a blood trail that they were mopping up behind the garbage can."
According to Lawson, the staff claimed they weren't aware they were doing something illegal, but wouldn't admit to having done it before. Red Flower's owner told the health department the roadkill was for his family, not his customers.
The restaurant is expected to reopen following a thorough sanitation of the premises and a secondary health inspection.