City health inspectors Monday shut down the food court on the lower level of Macy's State Street store after finding an infestation of fruit flies and several other health violations.I noticed that at other former Marshall Field's outlets that the cafes have been closed. Especially at River Oaks mall in Calumet City. Of course I couldn't tell you if that happened at any time before the conversion or even before the Field's chain was bought out by Macy's Inc.
The inspection of the MarketPlace food court was a follow-up to a report phoned in to the city's 311 center by a customer who complained of illness after eating a pre-packaged salad at the food court within the last two weeks, said Tim Hadac, spokesman for the Chicago Department of Public Health.
On Monday, the lower-level food court at 111 N. State St. was found to have a fruit-fly infestation; a leaking three-compartment sink; waste water backing up from a clogged floor drain;, and a poorly maintained inside trash area, where grease and food debris were found on the floor and walls around a receptacle, according to the department.
On July 16, Health Department officials found several violations and issued the restaurant a fine and a warning, Hadac said. They returned Monday for a re-inspection and found even more violations, he said.
"Not only did they not do anything, the problems seemed to get worse," Hadac said. "It was a surprising and disappointing lack of adherence to basic food safety regulation. . . . We stopped counting fruit flies when they hit 200."
Jennifer McNamara, Macy's spokeswoman, said the MarketPlace food court and adjoining Starbucks coffee store were closed at 1:30 p.m. Monday. None of the department store's other eateries, including the famed Walnut Room on the 7th floor, was affected.
"It will remain closed for cleaning and general inspection," McNamara said. "We intend to reopen tomorrow. We are fully committed to maintaining high standards with our food safety."
McNamara said passing a re-inspection is "our number one priority." A cleaning service has been hired to assist with the cleanup, she said.
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