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Rodent activity leads to food license suspension at Lawrence Walmart

LATEST: The Marion County Public Health Department told I-Team 8’s Jasmine Minor on Friday afternoon, “After reinspection this afternoon of the Walmart located at 10735 Pendleton Pike, the store’s food license remains suspended. Inspectors with Food and Consumer Safety at the Marion County Public Health Department determined that more progress is needed to reinstate the store’s food license. MCPHD will continue to monitor progress toward achieving compliance of violations, and a recheck by the health department is expected to happen next week.

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) — A Lawrence Walmart’s food license has been suspended after rodent activity was reported in a consumer complaint Wednesday. The store is located on Pendleton Pike.

“We’re there constantly, and we have never seen anything like that,” said Larita Conwell, a regular shopper at the store.

According to the complaint filed with the Marion County Public Health Department, “Mouse dropping present on the shelving in the food display area of the grocery and pet food area.”

The store has been fined $500.

Conwell said, “I really don’t have many options because, like I said, it’s one of the few stores that we have over here and it’s a superstore, so it carries everything that we need.”

Conwell says her cousin was shopping in the food aisle when she noticed what was going on.

A spokesperson for the Marion County Public Health Department gave I-Team 8 a statement.

“The food license will not be reinstated until the violations have been corrected and the establishment passes inspection by MCPHD.”

The department says a reinspection of the store was conducted on Friday to see how the store is progressing with its violations.

Conwell said, “Most Walmarts are surrounded by fields. It’s common knowledge that rodents live in fields. There should have been preventative actions already taken before you know where it’s located.”

I-Team reached out to Walmart for comment. A spokesperson gave a statement.

“The cleanliness and safety of our stores is a top priority. We have conducted a thorough third-party inspection to address the matter. We want to assure our customers that we will continue to prioritize their health in our stores and are working to immediately resolve this.” 

The county health department says it will provide an update after the reinspection is completed.