Rodent-Infested Rhode Island Ave. Safeway Reopens

Rodent-Infested Rhode Island Avenue Safeway Reopens was originally published on City Desk on Jan. 22, 2010, at 3:55 pm

The Safeway grocery at 514 Rhode Island Ave. NE that was shut down on Wednesday because of an apparent vermin infestation in the delicatessen has reopened. The question is: Are you brave enough to shop there?

The District's Department of Health ordered an immediate closure of the store after a routine inspection showed critical (and noncritical) health violations—including a mouse tail sticking out from a storage rack and dried blood on the meat refrigerator.

City Desk obtained the "Food Establishment Inspection Report," available for viewing here. Some highlights:

  • "Bag of rice cakes has been eaten into with rodent droppings next to bag."
  • "Seafood salad and crab dip held at improper temperature."
  • "Rodent droppings observed in the bakery in a corner next to the walk-in refrigerator. Also droppings observed next to the Carvel freezer, throughout the produce walk-in refrigerator and along the walls in the rear storage area floor."
  • "A strong odor of mouse or rat urine detected in the rear storage area along the floor."
  • "Tail of mouse was protruding from under one of the racks."
  • "Dried blood on meat refrigerator (open display) shelves."
  • "The thermometer in the cheese refrigerator reads 58F while it was measured at 37F (by me) and the meat walk-in thermometer reads -8F and no items are frozen. I measured the temperature at 41F."

The inspector also found "food and trash on floors in rear storage area," "holes in the wall along floor in walk-in refrigerator where rodent droppings were observed," and "unclean handwashing sinks."

Safeway spokesperson Craig Muckle could not immediately be reached.

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