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Jewel-Osco closed by the city for rodent infestation now back open

A Jewel-Osco was shut by city health inspectors. | File photo; Riley Lynch/For the Sun-Times

A Jewel-Osco was shut by city health inspectors. | File photo; Riley Lynch/For the Sun-Times

City health officials cleared a Near West Side Jewel-Osco store to reopen Thursday, just two days after inspectors found rodents at the store.

In a statement, the Chicago Department of Public Health said the agency had worked with the grocery giant to “ensure sanitary and healthy conditions are in place” at the store, located at 1220 S. Ashland Ave. Officials cleared the store to reopen its doors as soon as Thursday.

On Tuesday, officials ordered the store shuttered after inspectors found numerous code violations, including baby mice nesting inside the store and a live mouse running from a watermelon case to a hot holding area, city records show. They found evidence that rodents had gnawed into packaging including chips, popcorn, beans, rice, cereal and pet food. Mice droppings were seen in sections throughout the store, the reports said. Inspectors also found fruit flies and house flies in the bakery.

Inspectors “noted six baby mice nesting on floor behind large chip display in vestibule area with 200-plus mice droppings on floor, well ledge and display shelving,” the reports stated.

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The doors of the store remained locked Wednesday morning, with a notice posted stating that its license had been suspended by the health department.

By Thursday, the store reopened after CDPH determined the location had “met code standards,” according to a statement from the agency.

Mary Frances Trucco, a spokeswoman for Jewel-Osco, emphasized that health inspectors had determined that the store had “reached code standards.”

“Our team has worked diligently to ensure the issues were fully addressed and we apologize for any inconvenience,” Trucco said.