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Fox & Obel Failed Several Inspections Over Years

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CBS Chicago (con't)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Health inspection reports show an upscale River North grocery, currently shut down for violations, has repeatedly failed inspections over the past few years.

In 2010, an inspector found 75 to 80 fruit flies at Fox & Obel.

In 2011, there were repeated issues with food temperatures.

And in 2012, inspectors found two live cockroaches and dozens of dead ones.

On Tuesday, the patio at Fox & Obel, 401 E. Illinois St., was empty.

The sign on the locked door says the store was closed due on an “emergency.”

In fact, CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports, the store was shut down by the Chicago Department of Health.

“For a high-end store, … you would think they’d be up to date and have things fresh all the time,” said Kathy Rosenblatt.

This month, the store was first cited July 5. Then 10 days later, inspectors still found violations, including:

  • More than 200 fruit flies
  • More than 30 cockroaches; and
  • Coolers way too warm to store food safely

Food safety expert Kantha Shelke said fruit flies “sit on fecal matter and in garbage dumps and they carry that bacteria onto your food.”

Shelke called the number of cockroaches “appalling.”

The store had refrigerators set at 58 degrees, meaning bacteria would multiply at that temperature, Shelke said. Some of the fancy cheeses and meats would be extremely dangerous.

“When you eat them, they could not only make you sick, they could potentially kill you,” Shelke said

There was a cleaning crew outside the grocer today, and employees were at work inside. But Fox & Obel and its management company were not available for comment.

Additionally, the health department posts closure notices.

If there’s one at Fox & Obel, it wasn’t visible today. If it’s been removed, the store faces another citation.

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