Dollar General Closes After Inspectors Report Live Rodents, Insects Found In Store

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The serious sanitation problems that shuttered a store in North Bend on Sunday are being addressed, according to a spokeswoman for Dollar General Corporation.

Crystal Ghassemi, of Corporate Communications, indicated the effort will go beyond addressing the rodent problem at Dollar General.
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She alluded to a plan for remodeling the store, which would not reopen until later this spring.

Health inspectors in Hamilton County credit a customer complaint about conditions inside the store. Customers were ushered out on Sunday afternoon as inspectors arrived after viewing some unsettling photographs.

Those pictures show dead rodents and rodent feces in the store.

After taking a look for themselves, the health inspectors wrote in a report: "Observed the presence of live insects, rodents, and other pests. Observed large amount of mice feces and nesting material in facility...Observed a build-up of dirt and debris. Observed a large amount of rodent feces throughout the facility on the fall, on and under shelves, including non-food areas."

The sign on the entrance door Monday announced the store was "temporarily closed," but gave no reason.

Sharon Ecim, of nearby Cleves, drove over for some lightbulbs and had to leave empty-handed.

"It's frequently disorganized, but I've never seen an actual creature, like a mouse, or a rat, or a bug," she said.

According to Greg Kesterman, of the Hamilton County Health Department, the store had been unable to get its sanitation situation under control.

Kesterman said Dollar General, faced with the findings, voluntarily closed on Sunday, knowing it would have been ordered to shut its operation if it had resisted.

"During the inspection, we actually observed animal feces on shelves throughout the store," Kesterman said. "We also observed it on top of closed food packages and at least one package had been chewed open."

The store is required to discard any product that has been opened.

Store-wide cleaning was underway during Monday's normal operating hours as regular customers arrived to find the lights on but the doors locked.

The company had plans in motion to bring in a professional exterminator and clean every square inch of the store. It would have to pass muster during a re-inspection by Hamilton County health experts in order to reopen.

It's obvious from a written statement by Dollar General Corporation that the store will remain closed during part of the spring.

The statement read: "Dollar General is committed to providing a clean, pleasant environment for our customers and employees. In line with this commitment, we have taken steps to address the unsatisfactory conditions at our North Bend store, and it will remain closed until we believe that the underlying issues are resolved. Once these issues have been addressed, we plan to remodel the North Bend store and look forward to welcoming our Hamilton County neighbors when we reopen later this spring."

Health officials emphasized how much the photos provided by the concerned customer and the immediate contact helped.

They have 2,600 establishments under their jurisdiction and want citizens to understand they take every complaint seriously.

"I received this complaint at three o'clock on a Sunday," related Kesterman. "Our business is not open for regular customers to come in."

Yet, he pointed out both he and an inspector went to the store that very day and began the process that resulted in a shutdown.

Normally, the store is inspected annually. But since Sunday's complaint resulted in such significant findings, it will be inspected monthly for at least the next six months.

Source : http://www.wlwt.com/article/dollar-general-closes-after-inspectors-report-live-rodents-insects-found-in-store/9156755

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