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West Hempstead couple's Facebook video of mice prompts health inspection in Broadway Mall McDonald's

West Hempstead couple's Facebook video shows mice in Broadway Mall McDonald's

After Tarran Carter recorded four mice with her phone at the Broadway Mall McDonald's, she and her husband Leo put the three-minute footage on YouTube and called the Nassau County health department. (Credit: YouTube / Tarran Carter)

They looked like Minnie and Mickey nibbling on a chunk of cheese on the floor and having a racy time. But Tarran Carter was not lovin' the four mice she recorded with her phone at the Broadway Mall McDonald's.

"I'm so disturbed because the lights were on and they were bold," said Carter, 54, who's gotten more than 70,000 hits on her Facebook footage of the rodents.

She and hubby Leo were on a date night at the Hicksville mall Saturday when she wanted ice cream before the movie started.

But she said the scampering on the counters, under the microwave and across the floor of the McDonald's frightened the West Hempstead couple off popcorn and all food at the mall.

They also put the three-minute footage on YouTube and called the Nassau County health department.

Health officials conducted a full inspection Monday and a follow-up visit Tuesday, then gave McDonald's a C rating, said Mary Ellen Laurain, the health department spokeswoman.

It had three violations rated as "critical," which means the problems can make people sick, she said. There was a can of Raid, which is barred from food establishments due to possible contamination of food; raw eggs next to cooked meat; and a white powder that was not labeled, she said.

But no evidence of mice was found in this week's visits, said Laurain, who did not immediately have information on whether the rest of the mall food court was also inspected this week.

The health department, required to make full inspections of each food business once a year, said the Broadway McDonald's had received an A in the last two inspections, in April and October of last year.

A representative of the McDonald's Broadway franchisee said food safety and cleanliness are of "paramount importance."

"The Broadway Mall, where this restaurant is located, is currently under construction and mall management has been alerted to the fact that the construction is negatively impacting business operations," Leslie Silvestri, the franchise's director of operations, said in a statement. "We will continue to be vigilant in working with our restaurant team, mall management and the Department of Health as the mall's construction project moves forward."

The mall's general manager said the tenant is responsible for keeping the space pest free and the mall is addressing the problem also.

"After the incident was brought to our attention, McDonald's closed for a period of time to deep clean the interior of their space and sanitize all cooking elements," general manager John Rossi said in a statement. "Enhancements to door sweeps and other structural areas have also been improved upon to mitigate intrusion from the outside."

Leo Carter said he's told their daughters never to eat in the food court again because the mice there were "comfortable" in front of people, movement and loud music.

Tarran Carter said the incident was an eye opener, because even though she seldom eats fast food, she worries for the parents and children who do.

"People are sitting there in the food court, enjoying their food," she said, "and they have no idea."

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