Dead Mouse Found in a Bag of Chips From a Washington Food Bank

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Teeth marks and mouse feces were found all over a box of food

An inspection team is reviewing the food bank’s safe food handling procedures.

A woman in Airway Heights, Washington, found a dead mouse in a bag of chips that she got from a food bank.

Stephanie Halvorsen received the chips from Cleone’s Closet Free Distribution Center and found the dead mouse in a box of food she brought home.

“I was stunned more than anything because these banks are supposed make sure the food is safe,” Halvorsen told KHQ News. “When I got home I noticed that there was mouse poop all over the food in the box and things looked like they'd been chewed through — then I saw the mouse in the chips.”

Mable Dunbar, owner of the food bank, said that this type of incident has not happened before at her center.

“All I can say is if she feels that that happened and it's legitimate, all we can do is apologize,” Dunbar told KHQ News. “We do our best to be clean and we don't have any food on the floor, everything is elevated.”

Dunbar said that most of the food sent to the food bank comes from Second Harvest, another food bank in the Spokane area. This food bank has inspections twice a year. Cleone’s Closet was last inspected on June 22 and passed.

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The inspection team will be back to look through Cleone’s Closet on November 3. If they do not pass, the facility will not receive any more food from Second Harvest until the problem is solved.