‘Presence of rodents’ forces closure of Whitesburg Food City

The Letcher County Health Department ordered the temporary closure of Food City in Whitesburg due to the “presence of rodents” in the store.

Health Department Environmental Inspector Kevin Nichols tells Mountain Top News that the store was ordered to “completely shut down” after an inspection indicated the presence of rodents in the building. Nichols says the inspection was prompted by complaints received by the health department.

“It’s something that’s been going on,” Nichols says.

Nichols says he saw no rodents during his inspection, but did find “signs” of their presence.

Nichols says the grocery store is closed, but an independently-owned pharmacy located inside the store has been allowed to continue operation. Customers, he says, are allowed to go inside to use the pharmacy.

Nichols says it is unusual to have a situation such as this in such a business as Food City.

“We’ve had to shut places down before, but this is really the only one like this we’ve ever had to shut down,” he says. “They’ve got a lot of people from other stores and locations there now. … They’re cleaning the store. To address the source, they’ll have to have some sort of pest control come in.”

Nichols says the store typically passes inspection. He says the store earned a score of 98 in its latest inspection, and the food service portion of the store earned a score of 95.

“They usually do really well,” he says. “This is really the only thing wrong there.”

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