-- A California man's claim that he was served a deep-fried "rat" at a KFC restaurant has been debunked with a DNA test of the meat, said the company, which commissioned the independent examination after the photo he posted on social media went viral.
"Recently, a customer questioned the quality of a KFC product, and this received considerable publicity given the sensational nature of his claim," the company said in a statement to ABC News today.
"On Friday, the customer's attorney turned over the product in question for testing at an independent lab, and the results officially confirmed what KFC knew all along -- the product was chicken and not a rat as he claimed," the company added.
In a Facebook post, the customer, who identified himself as Devorise Dixon, 25, wrote: "I went to KFC and [bought] a 3 [piece] chicken tender! As I bit into a piece of it noticed it was very hard/touch and rubbery! Which sent this deep chill throughout my body. I looked down at it and saw it was a cooked rat! Made me feel sick!"
The images, posted publicly on Dixon's page, show a breaded object with what could have been mistaken for a tail. The post quickly went viral last week, prompting the popular fast food chain to respond.
KFC told ABC News last week: "Our chicken tenders often vary in size and shape, and we currently have no evidence to support this allegation."
ABC News has reached out to Dixon for comment last week and today through Facebook, but Dixon did not immediately respond.
In the post, Dixon wrote that he spoke to the manager at the KFC outlet who, he said, admitted that Dixon was served a rat -- and even apologized.
The chain noted last week that other photos posted by Dixon "clearly" show "it's a piece of hand-breaded white meat chicken."