ELLIOTT (KDKA) — Residents in Pittsburgh’s Elliott neighborhood were still shopping at the Family Dollar on Friday afternoon.
The Allegheny Health Department issued a Consumer Alert for the store on Chartiers Avenue after finding evidence of a rodent infestation, not once, but twice recently.
Residents in Elliott who spoke to KDKA both on and off-camera say they feel there aren’t enough resources in that section of the city and the Family Dollar staying open is important to them.
The Consumer Alert notice said conditions may pose a health risk after two recent violations stemming from shopper complaints.
The Health Department investigated in early March and found evidence of a mouse infestation, including food chewed and damaged by a rodent. In mid-April, there was more evidence of a rodent infestation.
Despite the consumer alert, the store is open, and residents are shopping.
“Toilet paper, chips, juice, stuff like that, candy,” said Elliott resident Destiny Harris.
Harris says she shops here several times a week for her mom and nephew.
“It’s closer to where I live. I only live a few blocks from here. It’s closer than going all the way to Sheridan,” she said.
“There’s a lot of residents in our community who do not have access to vehicles and it’s hard for them to get on and off the bus, so it’s easier for them to walk down the hill to shop there,” said Ashley Palmer, of Elliott.
Palmer says the store is also a community asset over traditional grocery stores.
“They are very high-priced for the income that is the median income in our area, in our community. I feel like Family Dollar is much more affordable for the folks that live here,” she said.
Employees were throwing things away Friday, and they say pest control experts were there to assist them to make the store cleaner going forward.
The Health Department will typically schedule a re-inspection. If violations don’t meet compliance a second time, the facility could be fined or closed.