Rodent problems found at Fred's Grocery Store & Deli, El Paisano Restaurante, inspectors say

The Kern County Health Department has closed a grocery store-deli and adjacent restaurant in Taft because of a rodent infestation.

Fred's Grocery & Deli and El Paisano Restaurante, both located at 1006 6th St., were closed after an inspection on Saturday by the Kern County Public Health Department Services inspector found live rodents, rodent droppings and urine, according to the agency's website.

Both businesses were ordered closed immediately and their licenses were suspended for unsanitary conditions.

"Operator/employee did not demonstrate correct decision making skills," the Health Department said in an online report. "Facility remained in operation during active vermin infestation. Operator/employee failed to recognize the health risk associated with rodent droppings and urine in a food facility."

At the grocery store and deli, the inspector "observed multiple rodents between the reach in soda cold holding unit and the hooka display case between the market and the restaurant... observed rodent droppings in the cabinet area beneath the soda fountain...observed rodent droppings in the dining area beneath bread staged for delivery."
The restaurant had similar findings.

According to the resturant violation report, the inspector also "observed food in walk in uncovered...observed food stored directly on the ground. Store a minimum of 6 inches off the cround to prevent potential environmental contamination."