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Moldy meat at Florence grocery store attracts health department inspections

WAAY 31 went to the health department to learn information about even more complaints filed in the last 24 hours.

Posted: Nov 13, 2019 5:00 PM
Updated: Nov 14, 2019 7:13 AM

Moldy meat, outdated food and unclean conditions are just a few issues the Lauderdale County Health Department found at a Florence grocery store.

WAAY 31 went to the health department to learn information about even more complaints filed in the last 24 hours.

The department said the two new complaints are similar to the ones it already investigated. A customer explained what she found when she opened her food.

"A whole bunch of mold," Crystarria Ragland said.

Ragland said she went to the Florence Food Center on College Street last week because she wanted some turkey on her salad. She found fuzzy, green mold spots on the meat.

"I checked the date and everything, and it was not out of date. It had not been opened, so I don't know what caused that," she said.

Ragland said she didn't file a complaint with the health department because she thought it might be a one time thing, but her Facebook post about the moldy meat got a lot of comments.

The health department said inspectors found a fly problem and some food being sold out of date in June. The store fixed those problems within 10 days.

In October, inspectors found out-of-date meats and a dirty store. Again, the business corrected the problems.

Florence Food Center is in City Councilwoman Kaytrina Simmons' district.

"I called the health department a few weeks ago in regards to the complaints I was getting," she said. "They told me they were fully aware of the complaints and had several themselves and they had been there, but I think they have to catch it themselves."

She said she's gotten a complaints about meat at the business, too.

"They were calling me about it saying it's unclean, and they were receiving tainted, molded meat," she said.

The health department said it only shuts down establishments if there is an eminent health hazard, like raw sewage or no refrigeration. The Florence Food Center's issues do not rise to that level.

Ragland hopes the store will clean up its act.

"It's convenient for people that don't have cars to go up there and buy groceries or whatever, but they need to do a lot of fixing up there. It's awful," she said.

WAAY 31 spoke with one of the owners of the Florence Food Center. She said they are working and trying hard to serve the community and said they have met all of the health department's demands.

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