Meredith Newman - The News Journal
A deli and convenience store near New Castle was closed by the health department this week after a state official found "chewed potato chips" and packaging damaged by rodents in the business.
The Division of Public Health closed Pleasantville Country Maid, at 192 Christiana Road, on Feb. 17 due an imminent health hazard and gross, unsanitary conditions, according to the inspection report.
A manager said Thursday morning that the business hopes to open later today, and believes all of the issues listed in the report have been addressed.
The inspection stemmed from a complaint, in which a person alleged that there was a "severe mice problem," according to the report.
When the inspector arrived, according to the report, the person in charge said "they had an issue with one mice before but it was resolved." This person said the business does its own pest control.
During the inspection, the state official found rodent droppings in the ware washing area, in front of the bathroom, on "retail potatoes chip shelves" and under the food prep table, among other areas, according to the report.
In order to reopen, the business needs to be "clean top to bottom," the inspector wrote in the report. A professional pest company also needs to be hired and all unused utensils and equipment needs to be removed from the food establishment.
Thirteen food establishments have been closed by the health department this year. In 2019, the state closed 72 food establishments in 2019, often citing gross, unsanitary conditions.
Delaware Online/The News Journal has created an online database for readers to view those inspection reports because the state has again delayed its own. More than 120 food establishments have been ordered to close by the state's health department since 2017.
Customers who want to anonymously report unsanitary conditions at Delaware food establishments can call a hotline at 302-744-4736. Inspectors follow up on complaints.
Contact Meredith Newman at 302-324-2386 or firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @MereNewman.