Theater Faces Health Violations

Courtesy of The Daily Local News

AMC Painters Crossing in Chadds Ford told to clean up after mold, evidence of rodents discovered


Staff Writer

CHADDS FORD — State food inspectors declared AMC Painters Crossing “out of compliance” for eight violations at the theater — from mold in the ice machine to mice droppings in the store room.

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services inspected the theater Dec. 6 after receiving a consumer complaint.

The complaint stated: “While he (the consumer) was watching a movie, he put his food container on the floor and before he could pick it up, a mouse attacked his food.”

The bureau will conduct an unannounced follow-up soon, if it has not already been done, said Chris

Ryder, press secretary for the Agriculture Department, in a phone interview from the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

“If they don’t fix the violations there is the possibility of fines,” Ryder said. “If there was an immediate health risk, such as an infestation, they would have been closed down immediately.”

Violations are broken into two categories, foodborne illness risk factors and good retail practices. At the AMC, the inspector found one violation in the critical risk catagory and seven good-retail practice violations.

AMC Entertainment corporate spokesman Justin Scott supplied the following comment: “AMC is passionate about guest satisfaction and delivering a premium movie-going experience, and we are always sorry to hear that someone was dissatisfied. We are working closely with the local health department and pest control vendors to address the situation that’s impacting the theater. We investigate and respond to all comments from our guests and have well-trained managers in our theaters who address issues such as these as they arise.”

The movie chain is based in Kansas City, Mo.

Ryder said the bureau’s report is a “snapshot in time” that details what the inspectors found when they were there.

Sometimes the problems can be fixed while the inspector is on site, but looking at the AMC’s inspection filing, Ryder said, it did not appear that was the case at the multiplex.

Eight violations are not rare, she said. They do happen, although the bureau prefers to see no violations.

In the report, the one critical violation was mold growth on the interior surface of ice machines. Also, the interior ice shields needed to be removed for cleaning.

Mold in the ice machine is a significant violation, Ryder said, adding that “definitely” has to be corrected because it increases the risk of food-borne illness.

The retail practice violations were:

Exit doors that have openings between and around them, creating easy access for rodents.

Numerous small flying insects were found stuck on sticky traps hanging from ceilings in candy stock and wash rooms.

Small rodent nesting materials were found in wash room between two electrical wall-mounted panels.

The report said the inspector found numerous small flying insects around floor drains under front-counter soda fountain machines. Numerous small rodent droppings were found under food-storage racks in a candy stockroom, along with gnawed pieces of cardboard for nesting materials. Also, “there is a strong rodent urine odor in this room,” the report said.

Ice scoop stored on top of dirty ice machine surface.

Outside compactor area is not kept clean, debris is accumulating near and under it.

Washroom and candy stockroom have old food spillage, pretzel nuggets, popcorn and soda syrup with old food residue build-up on the floor.

Tile floor area behind front counter is chipped in various places, creating hard-to-clean areas.

Ryder said the last seven violations are not considered critical because they do not present food-borne illness risk. Bugs and mice droppings found in food preparation areas would be significant, Ryder explained, but in this case, investigators found evidence of pests in storage areas.

Four other food stores in the region also started the year “out of compliance” with up to four violations but, of those, the AMC Theatre was the only one inspected as the result of a consumer complaint.

To see all food store and restaurant inspection results, visit

Inspection results are posted to the state Department of Agriculture Web site within five days after an inspection.

To contact staff writer Gretchen Metz, send an e-mail to [email protected].