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Supremo Food Market on 43th and Walnut streets on Jan. 24.

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

Supremo Food Market temporarily closed last Thursday afternoon after Philadelphia’s recent health inspection found evidence of rodent activity, sanitation violations, and other immediate health hazards, such as damaged utilities.

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health ordered Supremo, located at 4301 Walnut Street, to cease all work and other operations. The order was issued on Jan. 19 at 2 p.m., according to a sign posted on the grocery store’s front door. 

The Jan. 19 health inspections report noted mouse droppings on multiple food shelves in the produce area and the meat department. The report observed other physical evidence of rodent activity, such as a “gnawed package of cookies” and a “gnawed bag of coconut” in multiple aisles.

Other health violations included loose rodenticide and food debris on floors and shelves throughout the grocery store. Accumulated dust was also observed in the deli department and produce preparation area.

Supremo Food Market opened in May 2006 as a New Jersey-based chain that specializes in international foods. Supremo offers Jamaican, Caribbean, Central American, South American, and other international products.

The cost for reinspection for Supremo would be $315, according to the sign. Those who enter Supremo before they are allowed to reopen are subject to arrest by the Philadelphia Police Department, and if convicted, a fine of up to $300 and possible imprisonment for up to 90 days.  

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil The Philadelphia Department of Public Health ordered Supremo Food Market to cease all operations on Jan. 19 at 2 p.m.

The City's Department of Health noted that Supremo failed to comply with Title 6 Chapter 300 of The Philadelphia Code entitled “Food,” which refers to regulations concerning the food establishments’ food safety and restroom facilities.

The Department of Health subsequently reinspected Supremo on Jan. 23. The inspection reported repeat violations pertaining to mouse droppings, a leaking faucet, and a burnt light bulb, as well as a new violation of a damaged floor tile. As a result, the Cease Operations Order remained for the market.

On Oct. 25, 2022, a health inspection reported violations involving the sink areas and expired meat at Supremo, which led to the store closing until an Oct. 28 reinspection allowed Supremo to resume operations.

At the beginning of January, United By Blue, a local coffee shop located on Walnut Street, temporarily closed due to health code violations involving mice droppings. Acme Markets also temporarily halted operations because of a health inspection finding rodent activity and accumulation of debris and grease on Sep. 8, 2022.