Monticello’s Walmart is once again in good standings with The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, and its food departments will stay open whether or not mice droppings are found in the store during the next several inspections.
The corporate giant knows how to beat the system, and New York State allows them to get away with it.
We all know by now that the supercenter was infested with rodents, and food and pet isles were laden with thousands of mice droppings. During one inspection even several dead mice carcasses were discovered.
With a stockpile of violations and facing closure, Walmart supposedly got its act together thanks to cleaning crews working around the clock and hiring professional exterminators.
It is reprehensible that Walmart, one of our nation’s leading landmarks, allowed their Monticello store to fail four consecutive food safety inspections. But, what is even more contemptible is how they are now beating the system.
After testifying before an independent hearing officer in Albany, Walmart surrendered its license, closed its bakery, deli and produce sections, obtained a new license, and then passed inspection. In essence wiping out the past four failed inspections, and starting with a slate clean with the State of New York.
Potentially, Walmart could fail the next several inspections, still be infested with mice and other rodents, and remain open. In fact, no one would even know about these types of citations until after several failed food inspections force a notice on the entrance windows.
The Monticello store, one of the highest grossing Walmart’s in the nation, consistently has had a reputation as being poorly run. Shelves are rarely fully stocked. Customer service has always been lackluster and unprofessional. Cashiers are often few and far between, and long lines are habitual.
Walmart replaced its management team at the Monticello location soon after news of the infestation and potential closing reached the public. Perhaps things are beginning to look better.
Last week, I visited Walmart to purchase a shopping cart filled with ice cream for an event in my community, and only a handful of cashiers were manning the registers. Needless to say the lines were long and I was fearful my ice cream would melt.
Surprisingly, an employee visibly seeing all the ice cream in my cart came and got me and brought me to another checkout line. I must admit, I don’t ever remember seeing such a polite, efficient, and prompt cashier as April working at Walmart. She was truly a working machine with a smile on her face the entire time. What a refreshing change!
I mentioned to April that I was taken aback by her. She told me she worked in the store over the years and was asked by the new management team to return. What a step in the right direction. If management were smart they would utilize April to train all of their employees. She knows and understands customer service.
Walmart must now go that extra mile to regain our trust and deliver to us a store that is spotless, stocked with affordable products, and filled with employees who are efficient and courteous.
Hopefully, Walmart has resolved their devastating rodent problem. None of us want to learn in six months from now that they are again facing closure.