Food stalls at GPO rushing to comply after rodent infestation - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Food stalls at GPO rushing to comply after rodent infestation

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Public Health confirming four food stalls at the Guam Premier Outlets food court shut down after inspectors found rodent and cockroach infestations. The news came midday today just minutes before the lunch hour. But, the establishments are working to cleanup.

The complaint was received Tuesday morning, with Department of Public Health and Social Services director James Gillan saying, "About one particular establishment, apparently they had seen rodents, so when they went to do the inspections they did find according to the report, a rodent infestation that could be any number of things, but if you see one you generally expect to see more."

Signs of a rodent infestation led to the closure of China Wok at 1:30pm Tuesday. Meanwhile, similar findings at additional food establishments led to the closures of Mongo Mongo and Imperial Garden at 6pm that same evening.

However, Gillan said aside from the rodent issue, the affected establishments did not have enough demerits to warrant closure. Meanwhile, Guam Premier Outlets general manager Monte Mesa said tenants are now working on corrective action with health officials saying, "That's something that we don't want to be compromised by any of our tenants, especially our restaurant. So they're working on that now along with Public Health so they can get them re-inspected and of course bring them up to compliance."

Late this afternoon Public Health confirmed a fourth vendor was shut down. Aji Ichi Japanese Restaurant received a D rating and was closed due to a cockroach infestation. The inspections will continue on Thursday.#

Gillan said because of a shortage of inspectors at public health, the department relies heavily on tops from the local community. The department currently has a shortage of roughly 49 inspectors needed to fully comply with all local and federal mandates. He said raising fees could be one solution to bringing more inspectors on board.

"So it's kind of a hard issue to deal with, do you raise the fees, and then it's usually the working person who pays most of the fees, but unless we find another source for funding for these additional 49, we're going to continue to be reactive rather than proactive," said Gillan.

He added a second inspection was conducted at GPO today, however no additional stalls were closed.

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