It is disgraceful and despicable that Walmart, one of our nation’s leading landmarks, would allow their Monticello store to fail four consecutive food safety inspections.
Shockwaves were felt throughout Sullivan County as the news leaked out through a posting on the store’s entrance that Monticello’s Walmart is infested with rodents, and food isles are laden with thousands of mice droppings.
In fact, during one inspection several dead mice carcasses were discovered.
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is scheduling a hearing to determine whether deli and produce areas where raw food is handled should be closed. The store also faces a complete shutdown if it fails a fifth inspection.
The actions of Walmart to hide and not correct these severe violations are a direct slap in the face to all of us. Management clearly has no respect or regard for Sullivan County and its residents.
The Monticello store, one of the highest grossing Walmart’s in the nation, consistently has a reputation as being poorly run. Shelves are rarely fully stocked. Customer service is lackluster and unprofessional. Cashiers are often few and far between, habitually causing long lines.
The news of the violations should really be no surprise to any of us as the store is notorious for being unclean.
Walmart has been a topic of conversation all over Sullivan County.
Many people I have spoken with told me that the shopping environment at Monticello’s Walmart is so bad they would rather travel to stores located in Orange County and Pennsylvania than patronize the Sullivan County location.
One woman stopped me and said she was outraged over the news of the violations. “I am truly sickened to hear of the conditions at the Walmart in Monticello. It is a place where so many people shop for affordable groceries and to hear that there have been so many violations cited there without correcting them is appalling.”
The woman who asked not to be identified wondered “Who is in charge there? Why weren’t these violations taken care of after the first one, or the second one, or the third one? I wonder what the excuse is for this inexcusable state of affairs. The person in charge should lose his or her job at this point.”
Fearful that the store could face closure, she added, “If Walmart is closed down this area will have even more unemployment than it already does.” Sadly, she is right.
There is simply no excuse as to why Walmart would allow these types of violations to occur. The corporate office should have taken immediate action upon receiving the first infringement. But, obviously they did not.
Now in the height of the busy summer season, Walmart will have to defend its self at a hearing, and indirectly give Sullivan County another black eye.
Unfortunately, competition to Walmart is scarce, and unless our economy turns around, no big box chain such as Target will open here to give them a run for the money.
Fortunately, we still have Shoprite, Peck’s, Aldi’s and several other reputable stores where we can purchase our food and produce. The news that Butch Resnick wants to open a Super Foodtown supermarket at the Apollo Plaza is also exciting.
It will be a long time until Walmart gains our trust as a healthy environment to purchase food products.
Shame on Walmart!