Smyrna Waffle House reopens after rodent infestation

The Waffle House in Smyrna. (Delaware State News photo)

SMYRNA — A Waffle House restaurant in the south part of town cleaned up reported “gross unsanitary conditions” and re-opened for business Thursday after inspection by the state’s Office of Food Protection.

On Tuesday, the business at 37 S. Cory Lane was immediately closed after the Division of Public Health received two complaints (from the same source, the state said) regarding mice seen inside the premises; investigators “found evidence of a rodent infestation” later in the day, spokeswoman Andrea Wojcik said.

A reporter’s call to the Waffle House Thursday seeking comment was answered with “We’re not allowed to comment, thank you” before the person who answered hung up abruptly.

According to an inspection report, the restaurant was examined by the DPH from 9:20 a.m. to 10:55 a.m. Thursday and “the food establishment … met the conditions set forth in the (Tuesday) inspection report to re-open.”

A followup inspection will take place in 12 weeks, the inspection said.

According to the inspector, Waffle House displayed a pest control company invoice dated Wednesday, followed pest control recommendations and “general cleaning and sanitizing procedures (were) completed.”

Also, the report said “all rusty shelves have been replaced and issues with leak under the grill have been addressed.” Additionally, “Odor in the mens room was addressed.”

A “recommendation to move out all equipment on cooks line was not taken and floor/wall/equipment surfaces were still laden with debris.” According to the report, the situation was corrected on site.

Additionally, “Risk control plans for pest control management and contaminated equipment were put in place at time of inspection.”

The followup reported noted that food-contact surfaces were cleaned and sanitized, toxic substances were properly identified, stored and used and proper date marking and disposition from time/temperature control for safety was utilized.

The report described the risk category as “medium.”

The DPH recently responded to concerns at a Burger King on Concord Pike in the Wilmington area and urged the public to report concerns to the OFP complaint line at 744-4736.

“The public’s observations and information are extremely helpful to address concerns that arise between DPH inspections,” Ms. Wojcik said.

The Tuesday inspection took place from 2 p.m. to 4:25 p.m., the first report noted.

The OPH received an initial report that “a mouse was present in the food establishment and eating crumbs.

“Upon investigation of the complaint, mouse droppings were found throughout the kitchen on the floor and shelves. Those reports were substantiated.”

It was also determined that there was a “build up of trash and organic material below main line of equipment.”

A cease and desist order for all operations was issued “until pest management services are obtained and all equipment on main equipment/cooks line and surrounding areas (floors and walls) are cleaned and sanitized. All open foods must be discarded.”

According to the report, a routine visit also found violations including, among others:

• Milk with ‘best by’ dates of May 21 and May 28.

• Chemicals improperly stored over food prep sink.

• Several food contact services not clean including — rusty screw in ice machine shield, mold on the top left of ice machine shield, and no date marking on ready to eat food items, cake, pie slices and milk.

The OFP said a $50 reinspection fee could have been assessed if priority violations were not addressed within three days and priority foundation items within 10 days.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment