Domino’s Pizza

Brendan McDermid / Reuters

The discovery of a dead rat sparked an investigation that led to the closure of a Domino’s Pizza in Oildale on Friday.

In an inspection of the business, located at 1904 N. Chester Ave., an inspector for the Kern County Public Health Department found a dead rat beneath the water heater as well as droppings in the food preparation area, according to a department report.

“(The) facility failed to demonstrate the basic knowledge of food safety principles and sanitation,” the department said in the report. “(The) facility is closed by Environmental Health for (an) imminent health hazard.”

In a previous inspection done on Nov. 20, the department said it found a lack of paper towels in restrooms as well as a small leak in the ceiling above part of the food preparation area. While the department said that food didn’t appear to have been affected, the operator of the business was urged to repair or replace it.

“(The) operator states that they are working on getting it fixed,” the report says.

The department examined the business on Friday after a customer sent a photo of a dead rat to a local television station, which subsequently informed the department, the station said.

The Public Health Department hasn’t said when or if the business will be allowed to reopen.

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