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.


Glenn Herman

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.

FOOD, NEWS | 18 comments | permalink
    1. Scooter Stan says:

      Awwrrrr…the little guy is kinda cute! Cuter than some Fairway patrons, anyway. And a lot less aggressive.
      Also he has good taste. Probably planning on serving olives at his next party and was checking out the best variety.

    2. Amy says:

      Clearly a mouse…regardless…ick! I second the suggestion of investing in lids!!!

      Also, the no-caps thing is fine for personal stuff, but REALLY inappropriate for professional communications.

    3. Phil says:

      I’d rather pick that mouse up and pet it than shake the hand of most people I see on the street.
      Again, it’s unsanitary, but if you think incidents like this dont happen in New York on a daily basis just caus you dont SEE them, you’re not being realistic. Even in the best restaurants.

    4. Regina says:

      OMG! yukk!! I shop in Fairway always!!! Time to move to Trader Joes….. shame… also I will not eat at cafe any more…

    5. jerry says:

      Say what you want – Fairway’s got the best ratatouille in town.

    6. richardgbruno@gmail.com Bruno says:

      Not to be too pedantic, but “small caps” are just that, small capital letters. I believe you meant lower case. And as far as whether lower case can equate with seriousness, I would refer the matter to e.e. cummings.

    7. Bonnie says:

      I don’t think I am ever going to eat an olive again. Can you imagine what must be happening in the cheese dept?

    8. Pedestrian says:

      So do you think the Mayor might look up from the buffet table of benefits he has set for his developer friends long enough to notice that the Upper West Side is being over run by rats and mice. No I don’t think so. After all its the developers who really count in this City and the Mayor can always move to Zurich. After all the years it has taken to build this neighborhood up, it is only taking a year or two to ruin it. Mayor Bloomberg, what a guy.

    9. James says:

      Email was in all lower-case letters; clearly their response can not be taken seriously.

      • archy n. mehitabel says:

        well of course the response was in all lower case. how do you expect a poor mouse to reach the shift key with one little paw when he has to use the other to punch a letter key??

    10. john doe says:

      You really wanna Know the real story inside fairway market

    11. denton says:

      “(Question for font experts: does responding in small-caps mean they’re really taking it seriously?”

      Those are not small caps that is all lower-case. For an example of small caps see the ‘History Beat’ ad over there —>

    12. Scooter Stan says:

      Re: the ridiculous rant by “Pedestrian” blaming the mayor for a mouse at Fairway (#8 above)–
      REALLY?? (and note… full-size caps!) Would love to hear your explanation of how that is even possible. And after that your explanation of what finding the Higgs Boson means for the UWS!
      People with “Daddy” issues or issues of powerlessness always manage to fault the power structure for everything.
      Developers are all bad??? Then who built the magnificent Time-Warner Center??? Who built the building that houses the frenetically-busy Trader Joe’s.
      Who built The Dakota, and The Beresford, and The Century, and The Majestic? In fact, who turned West End Avenue into a copy of Park Avenue but accessible to the upwardy-mobile Jews and others whom Park Avenue shunned?
      Oh, yeah — let’s go back to The More Authentic City — like the New York City of the 70’s and 80’s, when cars had to have signs reading “No Radio!” and Fox-Locks on apartment doors were a fact of life. In fact, let’s bring back Needle Park…but without Al Pacino, as that would be the real reality!!

    13. A. Silverstros says:

      this has been going on for years in most of Fairway stores- reported by customers and employees.I love Glickberg’s stupid comments , in true UNFairway fashion- blame someone else!

    14. Mouse says:

      …..AND A RESTAURANT FOR TINY FRUIT FLIES GETS A C GRADE…. and so sorry for The Capital Letters

    15. Tom says:

      I was there the day Fairway opened and I was a very loyal and regular costumer. NO MORE!!!
      I have seen rats running along the floors on many occasions. It’s disgusting! Also Fairway’s food stocking is the worst. One week they have an item, then it’s gone for a week or two, then they get it back, but not the same flavors, size, type, etc. The cashiers are nasty and snotty, not all of them, but it’s getting worse. I’ve been shopping at Whole Foods now and I love it. What a great store.