The Boston Division of Health Inspections shut down DeLuca’s Market on Newbury Street on Monday after health inspectors discovered the company had tried to sell groceries recovered from its fire-ravaged Charles Street location at its Back Bay store.
The Newbury Street market remains closed today and will stay shuttered until it can remedy the situation, Lisa Timberlake, spokeswoman for the department, said today. Inspectors are unsure if any of the food items, which included canned beans, various produce, 17 cases of water and several cases of wine, were sold to the public, she said.
“It’s unsafe food,” Timberlake said. “It’s contaminated. It cannot be consumed.”
Timberlake said the food could be dangerous to consume after being contaminated with fire, smoke and water, she said. State sanitary regulations ban its resale.
DeLuca’s owner Virgil Aiello said he moved the nonperishable items, 20 boxes of items all together, to the Back Bay store after judging they had not been contaminated by the fire, apart from some soot on the packaging.
He said he did not salvage any produce from Charles Street store, contrary to the inspection report.
“I was just trying not to be wasteful,” Aiello said this afternoon. “We ran afoul of the rules because [the food] wasn’t condemned. We made the decision that it wasn’t going to hurt anything to salvage these few cases.”
Aiello said he expects to reopen the Newbury Street store soon. He said had made the required changes and submitted the necessary paperwork to inspectional services.
Inspectional services had posted the DeLuca’s Market on Charles Street with an order that food could not be removed from the building without the department’s permission.
But an anonymous caller alerted the city that a yellow truck had picked up food items on Sunday night from the back of the Charles Street store, according to the inspection report, first published in the Boston Herald.
Health inspectors also cited the Newbury store for failing to keep its salad bar at proper temperatures. Temperatures were measured between 52 to 56 degrees, more than 10 degrees higher than what is considered safe, according to the inspection report.
Inspectors also observed numerous flies landing on items in the Newbury Street salad bar and ordered the market to contact a pest control operator, according to the report.
On its website, the company said its Charles Street store remains closed while they are working to repair damage from the fire.
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