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Viral video of rodent dining in Minneapolis restaurant puts work of health inspectors in focus

Viral video of rodent dining in restaurant puts work of health inspectors in focus
Viral video of rodent dining in restaurant puts work of health inspectors in focus 02:18

MINNEAPOLIS – Health inspectors are busy this time of year as colder weather prompts mice to move inside restaurants and stores.

Video of a mouse poking around the food at Stella's Fish Café in Minneapolis went viral over the weekend, management shut down its operation and got an emergency pest management visit.

Inspectors found signs of mice, droppings and a dead mouse in a trap. A follow-up inspection was conducted Sunday and Monday early afternoon, and the restaurant is now back open.

Cindy Weckwerth with the Minneapolis Department of Health says its 23 inspectors are working hard this time of year.

"We may respond more to calls from businesses indicating that they're seeing signs of pests, and they might need a little bit of help," Weckwerth said.

She says all restaurants are subject to inspections, and the frequency depends on the level of food preparation.

"All of our inspections are surprise inspections," Weckwerth said. "All of our restaurants are inspected either every 12, 18 or 24 months, and it depends on how complex their menu is."

A rodent spotted inside Stella's Fish Café RaLasia Wright

Inspectors also stop by restaurants when customers see something not quite right.

"We do go out on complaints, so in Minneapolis we have a 311 system, and if we receive a complaint we follow up on it within three days," Weckwerth said.

Back in 2020, Minneapolis began making inspection reports available for all.

"We were the first health department in the state of Minnesota to publish our inspection reports," she said. "We made it so it was very user friendly, it's easy to use with any of your devices, and you can look up any business or any food business in Minneapolis and see what their last two or three inspections were."

The owners of Stella's say it has always passed its regular city health inspections. That includes one done 60 days ago.

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