Inspectors find raccoon meat in convenience store

GADSDEN, SC (WIS) - Inspectors with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control found raccoon meat stored in a freezer at a Midlands convenience store after somebody filed a complaint in early March.

According to DHEC Director of Media Relations Thom Berry, inspectors were dispatched to the Lucky Seven Number Two convenience store on Bluff Road in Gadsden on March 3 in response to a complaint about bagged raccoon meat that was leaking at the store.

During their visit, inspectors found frozen raccoon meat that had been skinned, cleaned and dressed being kept in the store's freezer. The inspectors asked the business to dispose of the raccoon meat. Convenience stores are not permitted to sell or store raccoon meat, Berry said.

While there, inspectors also did an unscheduled routine inspection and cited the business for a a couple of health issues, including unsafe food holding temperatures.

On March 7, inspectors returned to the Lucky Seven for a follow-up visit. They did not find any raccoon meat inside the store, but instead, it was outside next to the trash, according to Berry.

Inspectors also noted that the business had not corrected the health issues that it had been cited for.  The business owner was asked to bag the remaining raccoon meat, pour bleach on it, and throw it away.

During the next visit, inspectors did not find any more raccoon meat, but the business still had not corrected the remaining issues.  A final visit on March 25 showed the business had come into compliance.

Berry said he had never heard a business storing raccoon meat in the Midlands, but it has happened in other parts of the state.

South Carolina law requires that food services and stores be inspected at least once a year; DHEC typically make more than 74,000 visits to SC food service facilities annually.

Click here to file a food safety complaint about a SC food service

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