NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Unsanitary conditions at a Queens grocery store have neighbors and a state senator crying foul. The store has been cited, but neighbors hope some graphic photos will finally force it to come clean.
Employees at Super Halal Meat in Bellerose said they run a clean ship.
“We have everything is good. You check over there, the refrigerator, everything there is good,” manager Sharafat Dulal told CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez.
But some pictures taken by neighbors paint a much different picture — uncovered meat being delivered in the back of an unrefrigerated pick-up truck, carcasses piled into a shopping cart.
Neighbor Rich Eichler said such practices bring nasty problems to his street.
“Disgusting. Rotten meat. It was not nice,” he said. “I’ve seen rats and I’ve seen other things here.”
The Department of Agriculture and Markets said Super Halal, open only a year, was fined for critical deficiencies in July, August and September of this year.
Inspectors found food was not refrigerated at the proper temperature and flies were present near meat processing. New York Sen. Tony Avella is trying to shut the place down.
“You think about the people that are going in there, buying these goods, especially the meat and poultry, thinking that the owners taking care of this meat and poultry. Who knows how many people may have gotten sick,” Avella said.
“The store just don’t belong here in a residential neighborhood,” Eichler said.
A woman who lives one house away from the grocery said she can’t take the rats and garbage so she’s selling her house, but many customers are remaining loyal.
“I don’t see anything problem. I buy,” said one customer.
The Department of Agriculture and Markets will inspect the grocery store again in mid-October. If critical violations are found again, a hearing will be held to revoke their license.
Super Halal Meat owes about $25,000 in fines for health and building code violations.
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