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Kebab rat is a pejorative term used in the East End of London to describe unclean vermin meat that has been processed to form döner kebab meats. Since the processing and production of meat for consumption as kebabs is normally limited to lamb, beef, chicken or occasionally fish, the use of vermin meat is considered unsafe and in many countries illegal. The vermin meat is supposedly ground and mixed with proper meats before being processed into the large slab of meat which is fed onto a vertical spindle and grilled before being served.
The term originated in a local newspaper, the Hackney Gazette in 2003, in an article covering the closure of a kebab house in Tottenham, although it is likely it had already entered popular use by locals beforehand to describe the products of disreputable meat preparation companies and slaughterhouses.
As of 2005, there have been no known instances of food preparation companies being closed or prosecuted due to the use of vermin meat in edible products in London, which might suggest that the term is unwarranted and potentially slanderous. It is believed that reports of food poisoning from local kebab shops become distorted and foster this urban myth.
In the UK selling rodent meat is incompatible with current Food safety laws.
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