Rodent droppings and cockroaches were among the eight critical and 11 non-critical health violations cited in Wednesday’s Department of Health inspection that forced gourmet grocery store Dean & Deluca to close its Georgetown location temporarily.

The market section of the store, located at 3276 M St., reopened for business Thursday, but the outdoor cafe remains closed.

A statement released by Katy Foley, an account director atMichelle Lehmann Communications, which represents Dean & Deluca, cited ongoing construction at the Georgetown Park Mall & Shops as a major cause of the violations. Foley said that Dean & Deluca will correct its violations quickly.

“The cafe outside remains closed for service, but only because there are birds that have flown into the open air space,” Foley wrote. “We hope to reopen with full service as soon as possible.”

Acting in response to a complaint, the D.C. Department of Health conducted a health and safety investigation Wednesday atthe grocery store.

Among the most serious violations observed by inspectors were mice droppings and cockroaches, which were found around the cheese section, in the customer service area and in the product display area.

The DOH report said that Dean & Deluca needed to “replace missing weather stripping at the bottom of the glass doors inside of the cafe to prevent rodent and bird activity” and to “seal holes located underneath the sinks inside the prepared food station to eliminate vermin access and possible harborage.”

In addition to the vermin citations, the investigation discovered that the upstairs refrigerator was leaking water onto food. Mold was also found in the ice machine.

Other violations included food being held at improper temperatures, refrigerators without thermometers and food being stored on the floor of the walk-in refrigerator.

Dean & Deluca was forced to close following the inspection because of a DOH policy that mandates automatic suspension if six of more critical violations are found that cannot be corrected on site during the course of the investigation.

Of the store’s eight critical violations, only one, regarding cooling time and temperature, was corrected during the investigation.

Last year, the grocery store was cited for several critical violations by the DOH. However, the store was able to correct enough of the violations during the inspection to avoid closure.

Customers said they would think twice before returning to the grocery store.

“I’m kind of disgusted. I don’t know if I’ll be back there anytime soon,” Hayley Mitchell (NHS ’16) said. “I hate the health hazard, and my health could have been compromised because of Dean & Deluca.”

 

Hoya Staff Writer Hiromi Oka contributed reporting.

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