Yum! apologizes for rat incident

NEW YORK Yum! Brands U.S. president Emil Brolick issued an apology today for "any inconvenience" that a rat infestation of a Taco Bell-KFC combo unit here may have caused.

Earlier in the day, local media reported that holes in the restaurant were being plugged to keep the rats from entering the facility from construction underway nearby. But the restaurant apparently remains closed.

Tapes of an estimated two dozen rats were widely shown in the news media on the Internet over the weekend and early this week. Yum! said it was closing the unit until it can be sanitized. Local health inspectors had visited the outlet the day before the rodents were caught on video and given it a passing grade.

"We want to reassure our customers that we take this isolated incident in Greenwich Village, NY, very seriously," Brolick said in a statement that was released to the media. Greenwich Village is a highly trafficked section of the city that hosts several colleges, including New York University.

"We want to reassure our customers that our restaurants are clean and safe," Brolick said. "We will continue to work closely with the new York City Health Department and if there's ever an issue, we will immediately resolve it."

In addition to Taco Bell and KFC, Yum's quick-service brands include Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's and A&W. It operates or franchises some 34,000 restaurants worldwide.