Wareham Board of Health fines Cumberland Farms $150 for dirty floors

Dec 5, 2018

The Wareham Board of Health issued a $150 fine to the Depot Street Cumberland Farms on Dec. 5 after health inspectors said they discovered “atrocious” conditions inside the store during a routine visit in November.

According to Health Agent Robert Ethier, the floors and the sandwich aisle of the store were both “filthy.” Ethier also described finding a dried residue in the sandwich aisle during his visit, which he believed to be spilled milk.

“The physical facility was simply horrible,” he said.

Store Manager Jennifer Ferland appealed to the board, noting that many issues Ethier found were dealt with on the same day. The residue in the sandwich aisle, Ferland said, was left over from the last time the floors had been waxed.

“We do our best,” she said. “But when we have a large influx of costumers coming and going, there’s only so much we can do to keep up with them.”

Brian Glennon, a general counsel for Cumberland Farms representing Ferland, echoed her sentiments.

“I’m not here to argue that we shouldn’t keep a clean store,” Glennon said. “But I’m having a hard time understanding why we’re here.”

Glennon pointed out that the violations listed in a letter to Cumberland Farms simply stated that the store should have “smooth, easily cleanable floors and counters.” The cleanliness, he said, was not formally called into question by the letter.

Still, board members said they felt inclined to act on the evidence provided by Ethier.

“The pictures tell the story,” said member Lawrence Perry. “We have to trust our inspectors and their judgement.”