There’s a local mall with a pest problem.
The problem is birds, flying around in the food court.
Board of Health officials got involved because of one of our viewers.
Paul from Milton Declared his Curiosity writing:
“I looked up and noticed birds flying right over where people are eating.”
WBZ went to the food court at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree three times and saw birds in the skylights, on the floor, on the chairs and even on the tables.
Paul Yovino, our curious guy, thinks it’s gross.
“It’s just not sanitary or healthy,” he said. “And you never know when you’re going to have an accident, you know, on top of what you’re eating.”
Paul didn’t just complain to us.
He says he also complained to the mall, and to the Braintree Board of Health.
“The food code does speak to controlling pests,” said MaryBeth McGrath, the head of Braintree’s health division. “And birds in that type of an establishment or setting are considered a pest.”
McGrath says the birds get in the same way we do, through the doors.
“They’re a problem most recently throughout the Plaza,” she said.
We wanted to know what the mall is doing about that problem, but the manager wouldn’t talk to us on-camera.
Instead Judy Tullius sent us a statement saying: “Large public buildings with numerous entrances like South Shore Plaza periodically experience birds getting inside the common area, and once inside they are naturally attracted to food sources. When this happens, there is a process that is followed to trap and remove the birds safely. We are working very closely with the Board of Health and have successfully trapped and removed two birds already. We are working diligently to trap the last bird as quickly as possible without harming it, and anticipate it will be removed from the food court very shortly. It is worth noting that many restaurants have outdoor dining areas, i.e. patios, marketplaces whereby birds are not restricted from access to those areas nor are they deemed to pose any risk.”
The last bird?
The day after we received that statement we saw three birds at the food court.
“Correct the problem or shut the food court down until they get rid of the birds,” says Paul Yovino.
MONITORING THE SITUATION
The Braintree Board of Health says that isn’t necessary right now, but won’t rule out a shutdown in the future.
“We are monitoring each of the food establishments to see if there are any concerns,” says McGrath. “We certainly make contact with each of the establishment operators to see if there has been any concern as well as any evidence of that type of concern, bird droppings, things of that nature, which we have not observed.”
Some people might argue that it’s the same thing as eating outdoors, but not to Paul Yovino.
“I like pheasant under glass, but not under skylight I guess. What can I say? It’s just not the appropriate place,” says Yovino.
Even after they remove the most recent bird visitors, there’s a chance that others will figure out a way in, and they’ll have to do it all over again.
You can join the conversation.
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