Almost a week after shutting down because of a mouse problem, the Harris Teeter in Locust Point remains closed.
On Aug. 17, Danna Robinson, director of corporate affairs for the grocery chain based in North Carolina, said in a written statement that “out of an abundance of caution” the company had “contacted both our professional pest control company and the Baltimore City Health Department to partner with us on sanitation and control measures.” In a phone interview that same day, she said that mice were to blame for the closure.
“Additionally, we have implemented strict sanitation protocols, initiated a thorough cleaning and will maintain ongoing inspections. With this expansive mitigation programming, we anticipate reopening the store soon.”
Yet five days later, an employee at the location said that while the pest issue had been addressed, the grocery store was undergoing a deep cleaning and other maintenance. The employee declined to provide their name, saying they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the company. Contacted Tuesday, Robinson said the short-term shutdown is “to maintain the high standards Harris Teeter is known for.”
Shoppers who come to the store at 1801 Whetstone Way are politely turned away as signs remains posted on and outside the entrances that read “temporarily closed until further notice.”
The sign urges customers to visit the store’s other Baltimore location, which is in Canton. A separate notice posted on the door still says the shutdown is “for pest control and sanitation procedures.”
Harris Teeter operates more than 250 stores in seven states and Washington, D.C., according to its website.
The store’s location was not included on the Baltimore City Health Department’s regularly updated list of recent food establishment closures, where it reports businesses shut down for health code violations.
“The Baltimore City Health Department did not close the Whetstone Way Harris Teeter,” said department spokesman Yianni Varonis in an email. “Nor was BCHD in correspondence with Harris Teeter before it made this decision.”
This article has been updated to reflect Harris Teeter's reason for the closure.