New York City’s Health Department has taken the blame for the KFC/Taco Bell rat infestation that made national news. (If, though some miracle you haven’t seen the footage yet, i.e. you’ve just come out of a coma or recently regained lost eye-sight, do give it a look. It’s worth it.) Anyhow, the inspector who gave a pass to the KFC/Taco Bell has resigned and the Health Department is, like, really sorry and stuff.
Rats! In the Walmart! New York City may have more than its share of rodents, but one pest we don’t have is Walmart…which is why for this rat infestation report we’ll be traveling all the way to sunny Phoenix! From KTAR:
A health inspector said he found mouse droppings at a Valley Wal-Mart on Monday after shoppers reported seeing rodents in a bakery case.
Yesterday, would-be Coffee Shop diners were shocked to see their neighborhood hotspot shuttered. “I wasn’t surprised about Taco Bell, but this?” a regular patron, Ursula Pilter, 34, said. “It’s such a hip place. I just can’t believe it.”
Oh, no! Not ‘hip’ restaurants! You mean rats don’t know they’re not cool enough to hang out at the Coffee Shop? —MEGHANN MARCO
The city spends $8 million a year on rodent control and has a team of more than 100 inspectors who close about 500 restaurants each year.
I was just at Au Bon Pain on 38th & 3rd, and when I stepped outside with my coffee, a NYPost reporter and photographer stopped me to talk about the recent spate of rat sightings in that particular ABP, and their poor grades on recent health inspections. He said a story will run in tomorrow’s Post (headline: French Rats Invade! (?)). We stood on the corner and chatted about the recent KFC thing, and he agreed that if he could get them on video, it could be another front-page ‘scandal’. I had previously seen a little mouse in the ABP on 39th & Madison, (which they said they’d check out) but these guys said large rats were spotted this time. He asked me if I was still going to drink the coffee, and I shrugged and said ‘I went to Manhattan College, so rats in the eating area isn’t a huge deal to me.’ He smiled and said look in tomorrow’s News section.
Well, we’ll say one thing for the New York Post, they’re certainly more proactive than the NYC Health Department. Have any of you people seen rats at the Au Bon Pain? —MEGHANN MARCO
The health inspector – whose name was not released – was “removed from restaurant inspection duty,” while the city’s health department reviews other inspections the staffer performed since being put on the job in June 2006, officials said.
KFC/Taco Bell left a note over on Vincent Ferrari’s blog on a post about the profusion of rats at a western Manhattan KFC. We really liked this part (emphasis added):
“It doesn’t look like the inspection that was done Thursday met our standards,” said Geoffrey Cowley, a health department spokesman. “I don’t want to prejudge that. We’re concerned and we’re going to carefully reevaluate that inspection.”
The so-called inspection was performed in response to complaints about rats in the restaurant, and yet the inspector couldn’t find any. How mysterious. —MEGHANN MARCO
Raw video footage of the massive rat infestation in a West Village KFC/Taco Bell. If you do not watch another You Tube video today, or for the rest of your life, watch this one.
CBS 2 cameras caught dozens of them early Friday morning through the window of this closed KFC-Taco Bell in the West Village.
Yeesh. Cockroaches scurrying over boxes. Dead mice drowned in the back alley. Scavenger faeces amongst the food stuffs. Little Polish boys found eaten alive by rats when they drink too much beer on the premises. What is this, The Jungle?