HANSON — The Dunkin’ Donuts and Speedway convenience stores at 318 Main St., reopened this week — a few days after the Hanson Board of Health closed the building following the discovery of rodent droppings on food prepared and left uncovered in a cooler last week.
The Dunkin’ location occupies and rents space inside of the Speedway.
After the findings, Dunkin’ was closed on Wednesday, July 10 and Speedway was allowed only to sell gas during the closure and decontamination of the entire structure.
In an update following the reopening this week, Health Board Vice Chairman Gil Amado said that Speedway was primarily responsible as Landlord but Dunkin’ as the tenant was also responsible for the cleanup. There were approximately 20 people working on cleaning the location for two days inside the Speedway convenience store and the Dunkin’.
“The health and safety of customers is our top priority,” the Dunkin’ Brands stated in a Tuesday July 16 press release. “We have stringent food safety and quality standards that we require all franchisees to comply with, and we take great pride in the food and beverages served to our guests every day. The franchisee who independently owns and operates the restaurant, which is located within a mixed use building, addressed the issues noted during the recent inspection. We also immediately sent one of our certified operations managers to meet with the franchisee and inspect the restaurant with regard to our safety and quality standards.
Hanson BOH inspection documents, which were obtained by The Express along with notes filed verbally through an independent inspector, documented the cleanup plan moving forward and her initial consultation with Dunkin’ manager Casey Sorrentino who stated all of the food products that were affected had been removed immediately. Neither Amado nor BOH notes supported or could confirm initial reports that the food had been served despite its contamination. The BOH inspection stated there were no violations found related to any food borne illness.
The locations have since been in compliance and were declared reopened with recommendation of proper daily clean up and shift required cleaning along with nightly and monthly cleanings. The shared coolers and storage at the back of the building were shared responsibility according to the BOH documents.
Photos that accompanied documents through the BOH were released and clearly showed encrusted floors, and build up of dirt; both near and inside walk-in coolers and refrigeration of the shared use structure.
Mouse traps were placed in the interior of refrigerated cases along with plastic-wrapped bottled drinks as seen in the photos. In cleanup and inspection notations Independent Inspector Kathleen Piemonte stated a problem had been reported two weeks ago for a rodent issue by the manager at Speedway. They reportedly had a pest control company respond as soon as they were alerted by Dunkin’ management.
Back on June 29 through July 5 there were photos and documentation filed to the BOH regarding the rodent issue.
Last week Amado said a rodent-control company was on premises following the cleanup declarations.
“We felt that it needed immediate attention and they were shut down due to an imminent health hazard,” he said at the time.
He said originally the board had received a report that there was open food in the cooler and that it was “being nibbled on by mice and that mice were defecating in the trays. We walked in the cooler and that’s what we saw,” Amado said.
The same Dunkin’ store had been shut down over health concerns in the past, but the independent inspector, contracted by the town, had found no major violations at the location during an inspection a few months ago.
Because the mice move around the whole building, both businesses were ordered to cease selling food, he noted.
“After passing subsequent inspections by both the Health Department and a certified operations manager from Dunkin’ Brands, the store has since reopened and is once again serving our loyal guests,” Dunkin’ Brands stated.
The Express had reached out to franchisee Carol Porter who had no comment and referred to the Dunkin’ brand for media comments.