Novato Lucky grocery store closed due to rat infestation

A Lucky’s supermarket in Novato has been closed since Thursday morning after health officials found an active infestation of rats, according to Marin County Environmental Health Services. The store is set to reopen Monday, pending it passes inspection.

As of Friday, Lucky supermarket in Novato had a "Closed" sign from the County of Marin Environmental Health Services. 

"This facility was found to have violations of the California Health and Safety Code which constitute an immediate danger to public health or safety," the sign said. "As a result, the permit to operate has been temporarily suspended and this facility has been ordered to remain closed until a written reinstatement of the permit has been issued."

Speaking with KTVU via Zoom, Laine Hendricks, Communication Director for Marin County said, "Closures due to pest infestations occur periodically, but not as often with large grocery stores. Our State Food Code and Inspection Guidelines indicate whenever there is one major violation, the facility will be closed until the issue is corrected and mitigated."

Marin County Environmental Health Services said it is working with Lucky’s and a pest management company to guide them toward reopening. In order to reopen, Lucky’s will need a facility assessment, to address any structural modifications, and to document three consecutive days of no rodent activity.

County documents obtained by KTVU show an initial complaint was made on August 1st. We're told it was a shopper who raised the red flag.

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Upon inspection rodent activity was found in areas including the pet food aisle, deli section, produce section and behind items in office and restroom areas.

In a statement to KTVU, The Save Mart Companies which owns Lucky said:

"We have taken immediate action with repairs and maintenance as well as undergoing a thorough sanitation process, working closely with Marin County Environmental Health Services. We are committed to serving and investing in the Novato community, having recently remodeled the store in 2019 and we remain steadfast in our adherence to following all protocols and maintaining rigorous compliance with food safety standards. Additionally, Chief Operations Officer, Donovan Ford, has made Lucky Novato his highest priority and was on-site today to work diligently with the store operations team addressing the situation."