City Desk

Rodent-Infested Rhode Island Avenue Safeway Reopens

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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