SF grocery store closed after ‘severe’ neighborhood rodent infestation

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Health inspectors temporarily closed a Glen Park grocery store Wednesday after discovering signs of a rodent infestation that the store’s owner blamed on a neighborhood-wide rat problem.

A Department of Public Health inspection of Canyon Market found rat droppings on food items, holes where vermin make nests and other evidence of a “severe rodent infestation,” according to a report obtained by The Chronicle. A 311 complaint prompted the inspection.

Health officials ordered an immediate shutdown of the store while employees worked to plug the holes.

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, whose district includes Glen Park, said in a Tweet Thursday evening that Canyon Market had reopened.

The store’s owner, Janet Tarlov, described the forced closure as the culmination of a yearslong clash with a resident who she said leaves large piles of bird seed near the Glen Park BART station, located near Canyon Market, despite efforts by Tarlov and others to alert health officials to the unsanitary practice.

Tarlov, who is president of the Glen Park Merchants Association, said she has been in communication with health department officials since 2020, when she said the resident began dumping “20 to 30 pounds of birdseed at a time in the BART parking lot.”

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