UPDATED 08/10/11 3:50 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Customers on the Northwest Side’s Montclare neighborhood will have to go elsewhere for their Big Gulps and Slurpees, after the City of Chicago closed a 7-11 because problems with house flies.
The 7-Eleven convenience store at 6440 W. Diversey Ave. was closed Tuesday by the city’s Streets & Sanitation’s Dumpster Task Force, according to a release from the department.
City officials visited Aug. 2, and issued a violation for houseflies found in the rear storage area, the release said. The store was told to correct the problem by the time the inspectors returned or face automatic closure.
7-11 spokeswoman Margaret Chabris in a statement admitted that flies had been found in the door that day, the hot water wasn’t heating quickly enough, and tiles in the bathroom were missing. The store fixed all the problems and created a new maintenance schedule to keep the issues from recurring, 7-11 said.
On Tuesday, there was a new inspection. The city claimed that houseflies had migrated from the rear storage area to the front window, walls, display items, on a box of soft drink syrup and even backlit on the rear exit sign, the release said.
But 7-11 says there was only one fly, which flew from an outside garbage receptacle into the store and was on a front window.
“An inspector shut down the store based on this one fly,” Chabris said in the release.
But Streets and Sanitation Department spokesman Matt Smith insisted that health inspectors found more than one fly in numerous sensitive areas at the store during the second inspection.
“The Dumpster Task Force is meticulous,” Smith said, adding that inspectors take photographs of any problems found during an inspection.
“Any notion that the store was closed for just one fly is inaccurate,” Smith added.
Smith said that health inspectors told store managers after their first visit what the problems were that needed to be fixed in order to stay open, but the problems were not addressed by the second inspection on Tuesday, so the store was closed.
The city said there also was not hot water, and that store management hadn’t posted the summary form that explained to customers the problems that were previously discovered, the release said.
But 7-11 says there was always hot water, and the problem with the water not heating fast enough was the only issue.
The store must clean and pest proof the establishment, and then request and pass a re-inspection in order to be reopened, the release said.
7-11 says the situation already has been rectified by moving the garbage can five feet farther from the front door.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.