“This facility was found to have violations of the California Health and Safety Code which constitute an immediate danger to public health or safety,” the sign said. “As a result, the permit to operate has been temporarily suspended and this facility has been ordered to remain closed until a written reinstatement of the permit has been issued.”
The sign, put up on Aug. 17, said that the violation was in the “insect/rodent control” category. Public health officials reportedly received complaints about rodents and rodent droppings throughout the store, including the pet food aisle, deli section, produce section, and behind items in the office and restroom areas.
The store reopened on Aug. 21 after conducting repairs and maintenance, as well as undergoing a thorough sanitation process. In a statement to Progressive Grocer, The Save Mart Cos., which owns the Lucky banner, said: “The Lucky Novato store team values and appreciates our shoppers and we welcome them back to the store. Lucky remains steadfast in our adherence to following food safety protocols and maintaining rigorous compliance with food safety standards, working closely with Marin County Environmental Health Services. We are committed to continue serving and investing in the Novato community.”
Public Health officials say closures at big-chain grocery stores are rare, although not unheard of.
Other supermarket banners that have recently encountered rodent troubles include a Kroger store in the Atlanta area, as reported by Atlanta News First. A few weeks ago, the Georgia Department of Agriculture identified rodent droppings and urine spots in the storage area of the Kroger on South Atlanta Road in Smyrna. The inspector also identified where rats had been gnawing on products, creating burrows.
Less than a day after anAtlanta News First investigation first uncovered the rat infestation, workers were reportedly cleaning the loading dock area and patching up drain holes to keep out the rodents.