UPDATE 10/5: Official Company Response To Rodents In The Store
UPDATE 9/27: Video Coverage From Good Day NY & Eyewitness News
Here we go again…
On September 10th I posted video and photos of rats in the Upper West Side Fairway Market (2127 Broadway, at 74th) scurrying around the floor with food in their mouths.
Earlier today, MUW reader Glenn Herman sent in this video of a baby rat hanging out IN the olive bar at the same store.
You can actually see it running across the olives.
This was filmed around 12:20 am on Wednesday morning (9/26). I just spent more than 30 minutes on the phone with Glenn and I am confident this video is 100% legit.
In his narration he refers to it as a mouse, but he’s now convinced it was actually a baby rat.
Here’s the letter that Glenn sent to Fairway customer service:
Hello Fairway Marketplace:
At 12:20 AM I entered your Upper Westside Store to buy a few things. When I arrived at the area with the buckets of olives I was surprised that a man next to me jumped away from the produce and started gesticulating wildly. He explained that there was a mouse or rat walking all over the tops of the produce.
I moved in closer to examine for myself the truth and I discovered a small rat or mouse happily hanging out in the olive bins. He was walking all over the produce. The night manager and a clerk were discussing how they knew about the problem and that the exterminator was coming.
Additionally, they stated that these vermin often come from the subway. In my opinion, it might be time to invest in a few buckets with plastic foldup lids. This would prevent the mice from directly contaminating the produce. Ideally, the vermin infestation should be dealt with so that there are no need for plastic tops to the buckets
I wish you well in finding a solution to this problem. However, I think I will buying my olives and artichokes somewhere else for the foreseeable future.
That was around 1:55 am today. Here’s the response from the store’s “Catering Director,” sent around around 6:30 pm:
dear mr herman,
thank you for taking the time to email us.i handle the catering for our manhattan stores, and i have forwarded your email to our store manager, our produce director and our director of store operations. it will be addressed immediately. please accept our sincere apologies. we appreciate and value your continued business.
if i can be of any further asssitance [sic] please don’t hesitate to contact me.
[Name redacted, but also lacking proper capitalization. Rat issues aside, I think it's a little embarrassing that a large business like Fairway is sending out customer service e-mails full of grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Call me old-fashioned, but that's simply unprofessional.]
To be honest, I feel a little bad posting this as I don’t believe the problem of rats and mice is by any means limited to Fairway. However, there’s now video evidence of two incidents in the same store during a relatively short period of time.
I’m 100% sure there are rodents and pests of all kinds in the basements of businesses across the city, but having them in direct contact with food on the sales floor seems like an entirely different matter.
In Fairway’s defense, after the initial post earlier this month, MUW reader Dean wrote this in the comments section:
I was in there last night around 11:30 pm and noticed a lot of sweeping and shelf-moving activity going on in the produce area, as well as that entire side of the store. Love you Fairway, but that still makes me uneasy.
I can also report that I’ve since visited Fairway several times and noticed that the entire aisle I filmed appears to be much cleaner, with fewer boxes of food left out on the floor. The peanuts that rats were pilfering have been moved to another area of the store and they also placed two large rat/mouse traps underneath one of the shelving units I filmed (there may be more in the area that I simply did not see).
I had been planning to do a follow-up post next Monday highlighting these efforts — then this new video came in.
While they may have addressed the issue in aisle two, the olive bar at Fairway is located in an entirely different part of the store.
Unfortunately, this does not appear to be a one-time, isolated issue.
My apologies if it seems as though I’m singling Fairway out — that’s certainly not my intention. This may very well (and probably does) happen at other NYC markets.
Unfortunately (at least for Fairway’s sake), I only have video from their store.
That said, I’m an equal opportunity exposer. If anyone has any photos or videos from other UWS stores/markets, please feel free to send them in.
So… thoughts? Sound off in the comments section below. I’ll give you some prompts:
- Is this indicative of a larger problem?
- What, if anything, can Fairway do to combat this?
- Is city government at all responsible for not doing more to fight the growing rat infestation in the neighborhood?
- Do you think other food stores on the UWS face the same problem?
- Should stores be allowed to keep cats or does that create other problems? I believe they’re currently fined for this, although some bodegas do have them.
- Will this affect your decision to shop at Fairway?
I’d love to get a real conversation going about this, so have at it.
UPDATE: In addition to the comments below, there’s a slew of (negative) feedback on the MyUpperWest Facebook page
Glenn also posted his video on his website — glennherman.com. He sent it to me after doing some Googling and discovering the earlier post on MyUpperWest.
If you missed the post earlier this month, here’s the video I shot along with a photo — you can click here for additional photos and entire back story, along with Fairway’s response.
Filed under: Food & Drink, Landmark, Manhattan, New York City, News, NYC, Seniors, Shopping, Upper West Side, Upper West Side Blog, UWS, Video 27 Comments »
Tags: 2127 Broadway, Fairway, Fairway Market, Glenn Herman, Like No Other Market, New York City, NYC, photo, rat, rat in Fairway, rat in olive bar, ratgate, rats, rats in Fairway, Upper West Side, UWS, UWSrats, Video