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Kroger on Parsons Avenue reopens following rat infestation

COLUMBUS (WCMH) -- A popular grocery store has reopened after it was shut down for a day because of a “public health and safety concern.”

CHD spokesperson Kelli Myers said inspectors shut down the Kroger location on 1441 Parsons Ave. Thursday after they discovered a “rodent infestation.” NBC4 investigator Tom Sussi confirmed the types of rodents are rats.

The grocery store reopened Friday afternoon.

MORE INFO: Click/tap here to read the full inspection report

When CHD inspected the store on March 2, inspectors noted “signs of infestation throughout the back room,bakery, bread shelving and meat rooms." The inspector observed "excessive food contamination by pests chewing through food items, large quantities of feces, torn packaging, and food debris throughout the storage room and some of the product aisles."

Upon follow-up monitoring and inspection, the store's license was suspended due to public health and safety concerns.

Rob Acquista, the Food Protection Supervisor with Columbus Public Health Department, says the photos may look bad, but this is not the worst case he's ever seen.

“I’ve seen it all. Some worse, some not. It’s right in there with some of the other ones," Acquista said. “I think Kroger is doing the best it can to try to stay up on it and that’s what we told them and that’s what our expectations are that they stay up on top of it.”

Kroger issued the following statement to NBC4:

Safety is a core value at Kroger and we take this situation very seriously.  We continue to work with the Columbus Health Department in order to reopen to serve our customers. 

“They’re doing everything we’ve asked them to do to try to get it back open and running again," Acquista said. “When they’re ready to re-open they’re going to call us and we’re going to go back out."

The store reopened Friday after 5:30pm. The pharmacy and fuel center remained open during the temporary shut down.

Kroger issued a follow up statement reading, "We appreciate our customers patience."


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