Monday, June 5, 2023

Rats, Roaches and Pigeons: Popular Grocery Store is Infested, Shoppers Say

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Solomon’s Super Center is facing backlash after shoppers complained of health hazards and called for one of its stores to “shut down” until gross infestations are handled by management.

Shopper Rudy Knowles showed a picture of Solomon’s Old Trail Road and East-West Highway branch where two pigeons are seen roaming the frozen aisle as shoppers walk behind them. The floor of the store also appears to have scuff marks and stains as a white rag is thrown near the side of the freezer where ‘Wet Floor’ caution signs sit.

“This is Solomon’s Super Center, Old Trail Road and East-West Highway where pigeons roam freely everywhere and poop over the deli; where bags of potatoes are bitten by rats; and roaches are noticeable,” Knowles posted to Facebook.

“This place needs to be shut down,” Knowles demanded.

Solomon’s falls under the banner of AML Foods and is widely viewed as a major grocer in the Bahamas, having established itself to the likes of Walmart in the United States, selling food items, clothing, electronics and home goods.

The Old Trail Road and East-West Highway location, one of its largest, is centrally located and attracts thousands of Bahamians because of the weekly specials.

It is not known what caused the downward spiral of its major store as many shoppers are attesting to the infestations. Some people refer to it as an “animal farm.”

“I’ve literally seen rats on the fruits,” Christina Higgs-Lockhart said in a skin-crawling claim.

Ash Ley attested that she found bird poop on the top of a canned good she purchased.

“I stopped shopping there.”

A former employee Savion Hall claimed the bold rat sightings were common and are hardly a new issue at the store. “Yall just seeing this. When I was working there, the rats use to be in the freezer and cooler taking the big turkey drumsticks and eating them.”

When CSJ Report visited the store on a Sunday afternoon in December 2022, though the Deli was closed for the day, pigeons were seen sitting atop the Deli where their poop dripped and dried on a sign. One pigeon then lighted atop the deli table.

We then heard a shopper complain that an intrusion of roaches lives near the cash registers and was often seen on Saturdays as throngs of shoppers wait in line for their items to be cashed. A shopper reportedly showed a cashier, who acknowledged in a whisper, that they were a part of her everyday sightings.

Another Sunday when we visited the store, one pigeon walked the aisle and two flew by. When we highlighted the pathogens carried by pigeons that cause diseases like  E. Coli and Salmonellosis, a manager promised to address the situation and hire an extermination company to rid the store of pests.

Five months later, the situation remains the same.

It is not known if an effort was made to rectify this seemingly solvable problem.

“One time I was going in their lil changing room, [I] looked up [and] saw the pigeon pooping…I changed my mind… [There is ] no excuse. Someone [is] not doing their job,” Jerome Sherman said on Tuesday.

“Pigeons are rats with wings. This should never be allowed,” an angry Yvette Greene commented.

Valda McKinney-Sturrup said, “Birds disease contamination.”

Brittonee Deveaux-Newry used humor as she expressed her displeasure. “I saw a small roach twerking on a box of cake mix…a month later, it was weevils having a block party by the flour.”

Karen Gardiner said she “stopped going there for years because of that (infestations).”

Health inspectors are expected to visit grocery stores around the country on a regular basis to ensure compliance with the law, sanitary conditions, and safe food preparations, but we do not know if the store had a recent visit.

Rhondi Bethel asked, “How can places get away with this? Clean it up or shut it down.”

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