81ºF

Supermarket closed over disturbing conditions

photo

LAWTEY, Fla. – A supermarket on Madison Street in Lawtey, Florida was closed Wednesday morning after investigators served a search warrant over the fraudulent use of EBT cards.

Lawtey Supermarket had been under investigation for months by the Bradford County Sheriff's Office along with other state and federal agencies, which also turned up disturbing reports of the mishandling and sale of raw meat and food.

According to Sheriff Gordon Smith and Chief Shane Bennett, the issues that the investigation uncovered were so concerning they decided to shut the supermarket down.

They said that the closure will be indefinite pending a more in-depth inspection by multiple state and federal agencies responsible for ensuring the safe operation of businesses selling food products to the public.

Smith and Bennett released a joint statement saying:

"The conditions we found in the rear of the store were so severe it was our duty to the citizens of Lawtey and all of Bradford County to immediately close the Lawtey Supermarket pending the outcome of a more thorough health inspection. Our responsibility to the safety of our citizens comes in many forms and we will not allow anyone in our jurisdictions to put our people in this kind of danger."