Inspectors told the regional Volksstimme newspaper that they immediately confiscated the animal from the Bao Viet restaurant in Magdeburg and sent it away for testing.
“It must now be examined to see whether the animal had diseases,” Eike Hennig, the head of the local health department told the Volksstimme, adding that he had never seen such a bizarre health code violation.
Officials are worried the beast may have had rabies or be infested with trichinella, a worm parasite that can invade the human body and cause severe neurological damage.
Eating foxes is forbidden in Germany under food hygiene regulations that ban the consumption of dog-like animals. It is unclear, however, whether the restaurant owners will face fines or other punishments.
It is also not yet known if restaurant customers may have already been fed fox meat.
There is also uncertainty surrounding the question of whether the animal was found dead or killed for the purpose of human consumption. Authorities are investigating the possibility that the animal was slain illegally by poachers.
The restaurant owners told inspectors that they killed the fox themselves for “personal use,” according to the Volksstimme.