After the video of a mouse eating crumbs on the floor of the restaurant was posted on Facebook, the Office of Food Protection received complaints, inspected the restaurant and found mouse droppings in the kitchen, on floors and shelves.
The Waffle House on U.S. Route 13 and Cory Lane in Smyrna was closed Tuesday after a customer's video of a mouse in the restaurant led to a failed health inspection.
After the video was posted on the Smyrna Clayton Residents Facebook page, the Division of Public Health Office of Food Protection received two complaints Tuesday about mice seen at the Smyrna Waffle House,
"OFP inspectors went out the same day and found evidence of a rodent infestation. They immediately closed the restaurant due to gross unsanitary conditions," said Andrea Wojcik, section chief of the Office of Health and Risk Communication for the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Division of Public Health.
The Sun-Times has requested comments about the restaurant's closure from Waffle House director of corporate external affairs Pat Warner, and we will update this story when those comments are received.
Wojcik said the restaurant may request re-inspection no earlier than Thursday, June 7 and must provide documentation that requested pest control services have been provided and that other violations have been corrected.
"Instances such as this...are why we encourage the public to report concerns to our Office of Food Protection complaint line, 302-744-4736. The public’s observations and information are extremely helpful to address concerns that arise between DPH inspections," said Wojcik.
According to the Office of Food Protection report, "Upon investigation of the complaint, mouse droppings were found throughout the kitchen on the floor and shelves. These complaints were substantiated.”
The report stated, "Gross unsanitary conditions exist due to evidence of mice being present and build up of trash and organic material below main line of equipment.”
The Office of Food Protection required the restaurant to "cease and desist all operations" until receiving pest management services and cleaning and sanitizing kitchen equipment and surrounding areas including floors and walls.
"All open foods must be discarded," according to the report.
The video of the mouse eating crumbs was posted on the Smyrna Clayton Residents Facebook page by John Stanley, as "eating breakfast at the Waffle House." With the video, he typed, "How neat is that! Little guy has to eat just like the rest of us."
The video shows the mouse, the kitchen counter area including waffle irons and a "Waffle House" paper place mat on the counter where customers eat.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the video has been viewed more than 50,000 times with more than 800 shares on Facebook.