The Fresh Grocer’s Philadelphia Common Pleas Court hearing regarding health code violations uncovered earlier this year was postponed from June 22 to July 2.
According to Philadelphia city prosecutor Beverly Penn, the delay was granted at the request of Fresh Grocer’s legal counsel.
Penn said the pre-court health inspection of the location at 40th and Walnut streets, which was to help determine the city’s case at the hearing, occurred on June 18. Though violations were found, Penn described them as “not so critical that they need to be heard at this time.”
Fresh Grocer’s legal counsel “informed me that the violations have been corrected since the last inspection,” Penn said, adding that the corrections, along with the fact that Fresh Grocer is undergoing renovations, prompted her to agree to a 30-day postponement.
The last pre-court inspection, performed on March 26, found the Fresh Grocer to be in compliance with Philadelphia health code, finding only 5 non-critical violations such as the lack of a readily available thermometer.
On Feb. 17, the 24-hour grocery store closed for the first time since its opening in 2001. Fresh Grocer management initially told The Daily Pennsylvanian that the closure was due to refrigeration and electrical problems.
On Feb. 21, Philadelphia Department of Public Health spokesman Jeff Moran said the store was ordered to shut down by the city’s common pleas court. Fresh Grocer corporate spokeswoman Carly Spross called reports of a court order “entirely inaccurate” the next day, and said the store’s closure was voluntary.
Deputy City Solicitor Ann Pasquariello later confirmed ongoing litigation against Fresh Grocer and a court-accepted agreement to temporarily close following a health inspection that “didn’t bode well.”
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