Following our post yesterday that highlights the closure of Starbucks at 154 N 7th St. by the Health Dept., a former employee contacted us with disturbing details on the extent of the vermin infestation that she alleges plagued her three-month tenure at the cafe this year, causing up to six employees to quit.
The woman seeks to remain anonymous as she is afraid that publishing her name will negatively affect her future employment prospects.
“I’ve been working in the restaurant industry for years and Starbucks was really awful…When I walked in for an interview, food and bananas, almonds and snack packs were on the floor, nobody cleaned,” she said.
Looking past the uncleanliness during her job interview she took the gig, and right away she was disturbed by the negligence from management that allowed for dead vermin to sit in the food-prep area for days on end.
“A week after I started my job I saw a mouse on a sticky trap, and I told my manager that there is a dead mouse on the floor so you have to get rid of it, and he didn’t,” she said.
“It was in the kitchen area where we prep mocha sauce or caramel sauce, dry berries and powders and stuff,” she said.
“Then, day three, another dead mouse on the same sticky trap; so there were two dead mice on the sticky trap and no one would get rid of it,” she said.
“A week after, my coworker was holding a black plastic trash bag and she was like ‘don’t touch it, don’t touch it.’ I just walked in and said ‘what is that food?’ And she goes, ‘no, no, no live mice are in the bag don’t touch it,'” she said.
“I think she found it in the kitchen; she’s the opener, so at 5 a.m. she found it. We found a mouse at least once or twice a week,” she said.
“I knew mice were in the counter, or cash drawer area because always left food there.”
“We always kept bananas on the counter, and then mice crawled over the pile of bananas and on the counter everywhere. And usually, moms buy bananas for their babies…I was thinking if my baby eats bananas that mice crawled all over, it’s really disgusting,” she said.
“Mice poop was everywhere, on the counter, on the floor, cash register area, everywhere,” she said.
On a recent morning, the woman claims a dead mouse was discovered at the Starbucks at 5 a.m. by an opening former co-worker, only for the mouse to be left squirming and bleeding on a glue trap five hours later at 10 a.m. when the whistleblower arrived at work. The final incident that pushed her to quit is documented in the video below.
“A lot of people think these mice are from the subway station or the L train, but no,” she said. “Actually the Dunkin’ right next to my store…They were totally fine, they got an A,” she said.
The Dunkin’ Donuts located next door to the Starbucks at 182 Bedford Ave. received an A from the last Health Dept. inspection on 1/03/2019 according to the public database.
A series of small holes in the walls of the store is what the woman says needs to be addressed to stop vermin from entering, but management wasn’t proactive with the solution the whistleblower claims.
“I don’t think the manager was willing to pay that much money, so we’re the ones who have to clean the whole store. But even when we would clean the store mice would come back everywhere. There are holes everywhere, you have to fix the holes,” she said.
“Another one of my coworkers who recently quit, she got a really really bad headache because of the chemicals, like the cleaning products that we use. She was scrubbing the floors for six hours,” she said.
Finally, after three months of alleged untenable working conditions, the woman showed the video of the mouse on the trap in the food prep area to a Health Dept. employee, prompting an inspection on April 30th.
“My roommate works in the Department of Health, so I showed her the video,” she said.
As of today, the Starbucks at 154 N 7th St. has reopened.