GRIFFIN, Ga. - A Channel 2 Action News viewer is concerned after he sent us video showing construction crews jackhammering in the middle of a Food Depot grocery store in Griffin.
He said he was concerned because there were no obvious barriers or safety warnings around the construction.
Not only that, he told Channel 2’s Alyssa Hyman that dust was going everywhere, landing on the fresh fruits and vegetables.
"They're jackhammering right next to the fresh produce, I don't know who can wipe off a kiwi that well unless they're hand-washing each one," shopper Christopher Rangle said.
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When Hyman arrived, she took her own cellphone video of the construction areas and even saw Food Depot employees dusting off fresh produce.
"There was no flagging, no caution tape, no signs, no plastic barrier, no hard barrier," Rangle said.
He told us the dust was going everywhere, landing on the fresh fruits and vegetables.
"You're walking into a cloud of dust," Rangle said. "You could wipe it off and see it all on your hand and no good, no good."
In the back near the meats, we saw a hole blocked off only by grocery carts and dirt all over the floor.
"I work construction. These are things you never do," Rangle said.
Hyman was only able to get in touch with an assistant store manager who said the store is doing a remodeling and said managers are doing their best to keep things clean and that safety is a top priority.
Channel 2 Action News also reached out to both Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Department of Agriculture. Both agencies said they're looking into this.
The Department of Agriculture said it requires grocery stores to submit details of construction projects to the department ahead of time.
We're still waiting to hear back whether Food Depot did that.
"It's dangerous here and until they get it taken care of, be careful," Rangle said.
Food Depot's parent company, All American Quality Foods, sent Hyman a statement Wednesday, saying:
"Food Depot has been following all the necessary safety guidelines while making $2 million in upgrades to this location.
"The Georgia Department of Agriculture visited this store today, July 31st, and has released its findings, stating “Firm is currently replacing produce coolers and other retail cooler [sic] and freezers. No major wall construction or removal of required equipment taking place.
"Firm is rerouting cooler lines due to rearranging of coolers. Barricades have been put around construction areas, open food have [sic] been segregated, and all dust producing activities will be conducted after store hours. No food affected during this inspection.”
"The inspector found no risk factors/intervention violations or repeat risk factors/intervention violations. We thank the viewer for his concern, as well as WSB-TV, and apologize for the inconvenience of the ongoing improvement efforts."
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