DC Safeway Reopens After Code Violations; Mice Droppings Found

A Safeway grocery store in Adams Morgan has reopened after inspectors found mouse droppings in several areas, including under the hot food bar, plus several other issues, according to the D.C. Department of Health.

The department ordered the store at 1747 Columbia Road NW to close Wednesday. Safeway said about 5:45 p.m. Thursday it has reopened after a "successful" follow-up inspection by the health department.

A notice posted to the store's door on Wedensday said the store violated "the District of Columbia food code regulations, which presents an imminent health hazard to the public."

According to a D.C. Department of Health report dated Wednesday, the store was out of compliance in two areas involving the risk of food-borne illness. The store did not have cleaned and sanitized food-contact surfaces, and was not using proper holding temperatures for cold foods, the report said.

In addition, the store was not complying with seven "good retail practices," the report said.

In total, the store was out of compliance in the following areas, according to the report:

  • A walk-in produce unit contained standing water, shelving inside the deli walk-in unit contained debris, and a machine used to seal packaging was dirty.
  • The store was not using proper cold holding temperatures; salads were in a deli display case at a temperature above 41 degrees.
  • There was no visible thermometer in the reach-in refrigerator.
  • Mice droppings were found beneath the hot food bar display case and downstairs in the basement behind the shelving.
  • Wet cloths were not properly stored inside a sanitizer.
  • Single-service items were stored on the floor or less than 6 inches above the floor, and were not stored in plastic sleeves.
  • Cabinet spaces behind the deli line contained dried food particles, trash and mice droppings.
  • Floors in the seafood and deli section contained trash and debris, and floors, the downstairs and under-shelf areas had trash debris and mice droppings.
  • The produce walk-in refrigerator condenser was leaking.
  • There was insufficient lighting (blown bulb) in the meat walk-in unit.

Safeway released the following statement after the store reopened:

"Store cleanliness is of the utmost importance to us, and the issues found yesterday at this store did not meet our company’s standards. Our team worked hard overnight and throughout the day to ensure the issues were fully addressed, and all areas have been cleaned an sanitized. We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers, and commit to doing our best to ensure this issue does not reoccur."

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