SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – An infestation of mice forced a bakery and a Walgreens store in Chinatown to temporarily shut down on Friday, said San Francisco health officials.
The Walgreens at 1344 Stockton Street and the Mee Mee Bakery next door were closed at 1 p.m. for about two hours because of the rodent infestation, said an official with the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
Although customers weren’t allowed to enter either business, workers inside both were busy cleaning shelves and tossing out food products ahead of the arrival of a public health inspector.
The health inspector declined to talk to reporters after clearing each business to reopen around 3 p.m., leaving questions about the source of the mouse infestation.
A Chinese grocery right next door and other businesses on the block, located just a few blocks from tunneling for the Central Subway, were not affected.
Increased rat sightings have apparently followed the subway digging.
Last November, people who live and work in the South of Market neighborhood started complaining that more rats than usual were crawling the alleys of SOMA. Then in April, North Beach residents noticed rats had become a visible presence in around Washington Square Park.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency does not believe the anecdotal sightings are related to the new subway tunnel, officials said, adding that a rodent abatement program has been in place around sites in the Central Subway project.