HANSON — Health officials have shut down the Speedway convenience store — and the Dunkin’ inside — until both stores can prove to the Board of Health that pests are under control and the store has been sanitized.
Health Board Vice Chairman Gil Amado said a rodent-control company was on premises Thursday.
“We felt that it needed immediate attention and they were shut down due to an imminent health hazard,” he said.
He said 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 at that’s what we saw,” Amado said.
He could not verify media reports that employees were instructed to sell contaminated food to the public.
The shut-down order was based on the verified reports of “exposed food, mouse droppings everywhere and, apparently they were told to serve the food,” he said. “I don’t have physical evidence of that [the alleged serving order].”
Amado said Thursday it is not the first time that Dunkin’ store has been shut down over health concerns, 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.
“We have an independent food inspector who does all thee food inspections,” Amado said, as the town is currently without it’s own health agent. “We’re required to inspect twice a year and she was on her bi-yearly inspection [when] she noticed a few things kind of way off.”
Amado said the inspector reported in a document submitted to the Board of Health that she had seen evidence of rodent infestation and that “further steps were necessary to take.”
The board discussed the report at a recent meeting and Amado accompanied the inspector to the store Wednesday, July 10 and “after reviewing what she had written in her report and what I saw I immediately proceeded to tell everyone to stop selling food [and] to not let any food items leave the store, that the business is shut down and Speedway is shut down — they can only sell gas,” he said. “No food items are to leave that building.”
Amado said that includes pre-packaged items such as bags of chips or other snack foods.
Dunkin’ told Channel 25 that the employee’s original complaint is being looked into, but that Speedway had not commented on the shut-down.