Fairway’s rodent problem just went from gross to GROSS.
A Fairway shopper videotaped a mouse, or possibly a rat, running along the olives in the bins at the supermarket on 74th Street and Broadway very early Wednesday morning. The sighting comes after rats were seen running though Fairway’s produce section a couple of weeks back, which prompted the company to say it would respond promptly and aggressively. Apparently, the little guy above didn’t get the memo. Check him out in the video below by Glenn Herman, who posted it to YouTube.
Then Herman sent a note to Fairway.
Hello Fairway Marketplace:
At 12:20 AM I entered your Upper Westside Store to buy a few things. When I arrived at the area with the buckets of olives I was surprised that a man next to me jumped away from the produce and started gesticulating wildly. He explained that there was a mouse or rat walking all over the tops of the produce.
I moved in closer to examine for myself the truth and I discovered a small rat or mouse happily hanging out in the olive bins. He was walking all over the produce. The night manager and a clerk were discussing how they knew about the problem and that the exterminator was coming.
Additionally, they stated that these vermin often come from the subway. In my opinion, it might be time to invest in a few buckets with plastic foldup lids. This would prevent the mice from directly contaminating the produce. Ideally, the vermin infestation should be dealt with so that there are no need for plastic tops to the buckets.
I wish you well in finding a solution to this problem. However, I think I will buying my olives and artichokes somewhere else for the foreseeable future.
A Fairway rep apparently replied:
thank you for taking the time to email us.i handle the catering for our manhattan stores, and i have forwarded your email to our store manager, our produce director and our director of store operations. it will be addressed immediately. please accept our sincere apologies. we appreciate and value your continued business.
(Question for font experts: does responding in
small-caps lower-case mean they’re really taking it seriously?)
ABC News ran the story as the lead news item on their 11 o’clock newscast Thursday night, and Fairway responded to them: “We believe the incident was caused by the massive construction that is happening throughout the immediate vicinity of the store. We are now taking comprehensive measures to remedy the situation so that it doesn’t happen again.”
Update: Bruce Bobbins, a Fairway spokesman, told us: “We are spending thousands of dollars on replacing old entrance, exit and loading dock and installing new ones, and fully sealing off any potential entry points to our basement. And we are replacing, renovating, and refortifying walls and floors with iron and diamond plates, installing new produce cases, and taking other immediate infrastructure measures to eliminate access points.”
As ABC points out, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets inspects supermarkets, and doesn’t tend to stop by more than once a year “”unless there’s something critical to cause reinspection.”
We’ll update this story as we learn more about Fairway’s response.
In the meantime, read all about the recent explosion in Upper West Side rats. Here’s our first story on Fairway rats.