Sunday, April 02, 2006

Danger There Is An Unchecked Biohazard At A Ralphs Grocery Store!





















Click on the photos to enlarge them and look at the filth...

We all know and accept that shopping carts at our local grocery are some the least sanitary items we come into contact with. After all, they're used by countless strangers who may be coughing or sneezing as they shop. With our humanity and its diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV this place is unhealthy to say the least. Indeed grocery shopping carts can host unseen biohazard landmines.

Somehow I suspect that the supermarket employees who actually handle food within the meat, fish and deli departments also must handle those disgusting carts. They are required to wash their hands after using bathroom facilities but how about after pushing those carts?

There is a special place in Venice CA where the problem is beyond epidemic. Aside from all the disease issues Ralphs’ carts are truly visual stomach turners. The Ralphs store located at 910 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291 may well be the dirtiest store in the entire Ralphs system. Starting with the check out counters where the cash registers show a murky film of dirt and grime. The counter areas are not up to the standards of other grocery stores including the other Ralphs.

To be fair Venice has a large population of Spanish speaking vagrants who invade everyone’s alley garbage cans looking for recyclables to sell for cash. The offending Ralphs store has a recycling center right next door that obviously contributes to the problem. The vagrants sell their wares to the center and the carts are immediately returned to service at the store. This store has apparently not done much of anything to combat this unhealthy blight.

The vagrants find that despite the theft laws they can take the shopping carts from Ralphs and use them to collect and sort the proceeds from thousands of area garbage cans. The Los Angeles Police Department can’t or won’t enforce the theft law to protect the store’s property. Ralphs has apparently not hired security people to round up the carts and arrest the offending vagrants.

So when the carts find their way back to the store they are covered with filth, slime and perhaps residue from soiled baby diapers or worse. Ralphs does not have their cart cleaning equipment on premises.

The store manager would not go on camera citing company policy but told me they have a crew come in once a month for that purpose. Apparently it’s all too little, too late. The manager was kind enough to inform me that there were sanitary wipes at the entrances. I asked her to show me where they were and she discovered what I already knew, they were completely out of the wipes. She then offered that the vagrants must have taken them for their own hygiene needs.

I will post any response from Ralphs and report on any visible efforts to correct the problem that I notice. Look for more pictures and video to be posted here...

An update 4/5/06: Here is an e-mail response fron Ralphs on my story. I'd say after reading this that their "investigator" needs glasses.

Date: Wed, 05 Apr 2006 10:39:54 -0700From: "Kelly Bradshaw" To: Subject: RE: Complaint of Ralph's Market @ 910 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
RE: Complaint of Ralph's Market @ 910 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

An investigation was conducted at Ralph's Market located at 910 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291 on 4/4/06. An accumulation of trash and debris was observed on the south side of the parking lot. Sani-wipes were observed to be available at the entrance door for use after handling the shopping carts. An accumulation of dirt was not observed on the grocery carts, however, it was raining at the time of the inspection. According to the store Manager, the check-out counters are detailed weekly, one each day. The check-out counter available for inspection had no accumulation of dirt on surfaces.

An inspection report and compliance date was issued to the store to remove the accumulation of trash and debris from the south side of the parking lot by 4/11/06.

If you have any further questions, feel free to call. My office hours are 8-9:30 am M-TH.

Thank you,
Kelly M. Bradshaw
EHS II

WATCH SOME VIDEO!

Venice Shopping Cart Thieves Caught On Tape!

I caught two Venice CA Vagrants in the act of the theft of two grocery carts this afternoon. Okay I caught lots of others by they spoke no English so I was unable to obtain their confessions.
The Blue cart is property of Albertson’s and the chrome cart on the right is from Ralphs.

I’m wondering if these two gentlemen are some of George Bush’s “Guest Workers”?

I told these two vagrants that I was doing a story about recycling. Here’s what they had to say…


Editor's note: I will continue to follow up on this story...

I have a partial solution to this chronic problem with the vagrants and the carts...

Every grocery store in Venice seems to have the same problem with these cart thefts and the mess. At times there are shortages of carts for paying customers.

Since enforcement by the LAPD is not likely, the area grocery stores need to hire a licensed private investigation agency to aggressively locate carts, arrest the offenders in possession of them for theft and arrange for recovery of the carts. The recycling centers owned by the stores should refuse to pay anyone for recyclables brought to them in stolen carts.

I suspect that some people may want the vagrants to have some carts to engage in this business. Perhaps carts can be supplied by the stores that wish to dispose of their old ones that are rusty, too old or no longer suitable for service in the stores. They can be painted or have distinctive markings that allow for lawful possession by the vagrants.

I see carts from Ralphs, Big Lots, Von’s, Smart & Final and Albertson’s being used by the local vagrants. These stores might collaborate on such a project
The vagrants will quickly learn to not use the wrong carts



10 comments:

Anonymous said...

You could carry your own sanitary wipes or perhaps, shop at another store. Or, how about starting a campaign with other local shoppers to get management to clean the carts on a daily basis. Is there a "bulleting board" near the entrance of the store that you could use to post a message about this?

Anonymous said...

Don't you guys have those anti-bacteria wipes located in the front of the stores?

Many FL and IL stores have them...

Lincoln Place said...

That Ralphs needs a visit from the health department! Their parking lot looks like a landfill some days!

Anonymous said...

You'd think Ralphs would have more pride. I guess not. They don't deserve customers if they don't care to protect their health.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what would happen if somebody switched all the carts from that Venice Ralphs garbage dump with some upscale Ralphs in Beverly Hills?

Anonymous said...

I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW GREAT YOUR COLUMN IS ON GROCERY STORE SHOPPING CARTS! I AGREE WITH YOU 100%. THIS CART THING IS SOMETHING THAT EATS AT THE CORE OF ALL OF US WHO MUST EAT TO LIVE. THERE IS NO REASON WHY STORES CAN'T CORRECT THIS. THERE ARE TOO MANY GOOD PROCEDURES OUT THERE TO 1. PROTECT CARTS FROM BEING STOLEN. 2. KEEPING CARTS CLEAN FOR CUSTOMERS. GET WITH IT RAPLH AND FIX THIS. NOW YOU KNOW WHY I SHOP AT GELSONS UNTIL YOU DO..THE OLD SARGE.

Anonymous said...

I went there myself to see. What a shithole! Those carts look like they've never been washed since they got them 20 years ago.

The carts are the very first thing the customers see! That can't be good for business.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for the rain! It kept Ralph's inspector from finding dirty carts! What detective school did this wann-bee graduate from? If he can't spot the grime on karts how will he spot the crime on the streets? I guess this is what happens when morons rush.. The Old Sarge

Anonymous said...

As an LAPD cop, I can tell you for certain that there is enforcement action against the theft of shopping carts. It is a misd crime and the perp is given a ticket in the street if he can be identified by valid id or departmental resources.

The problem lies with the liberal Judges at the courts. Many perps tell me when they goto court with say 3 or 4 shopping cart tix, the Judge will throw them all out and fine them 10 bucks.

If the perp doesn't goto court, the City Atty genrates a warrant in which the perp, if caught, will end up with a 2 to 3 day sentence.

Thats the real reason why these mutts are walking around w/carts.

Door Kicker.

Anonymous said...

you are correct that is one filthy store,i just returned from there.. the help is nasty and not cordial.. they misplaced or lost my photos ..which i was having developed there..no one knew anything about how to trace the.. no one had a number.. i waited eons till the mgr. or someone who said he was in charge came and i had to convince him to call..then we couldnt hear and he said their phones were not good.. what a hellhole..filthy and disgusting.. i will never go there again.