The pastries in the window of a downtown Toronto confection shop were supposed to lure hungry humans, but they ended up attracting mice.
Mohammad Valipour captured the ravenous rodents on video as they nibbled on a tray of baklava visible through a window inside Meli Baklava & Chocolate Bar.
He told CTV Toronto he believes he could also see feces around the trays. “It was disgusting,” Valipour said.
Co-owner Julie Kyriakaki says the building has a rodent problem but is adamant that none of the pastries that sit out for display are served to the public.
Kyriakaki showed off drawers full of desserts under the countertop that she says she and her staff use to keep the food safe from pests.
“Even if I didn’t have food here, the mice could still be on the window, because they go everywhere” she said. She also showed off mousetraps inside the store.
Meli Baklava & Chocolate Bar displays a green DineSafe sign in its window, indicating that it has met food safety standards outlined in the Ontario Food Premises Regulation and municipal by-laws. The sign shows the business was last inspected on Feb. 6, 2017.
The bakery has passed four inspections, the first in November 2015, according to online DineSafe records. It received two infractions in that time, one for failing to ensure the presence of someone who holds a valid food handler’s certificate and another for not having a test substance for ensuring utensils are properly sterilized.
The sweet shop, which is rated 4.5 out of five on the website TripAdvisor, is one of several food kiosks housed inside the Queen Live Fresh Food Market on Queen Street West.
The building’s management tells CTV Toronto that pest control comes once a month, or whenever there is an issue, and noted that it plans instruct tenants not to leave food out in the open.
Kyriakaki said she wants to see management and the other vendors do more to control the pests. “This is a shared space,” she said.
She also said she plans to start covering all of the food in her shop – even that which is only for display.
One man while visiting the market on Sunday said it would make him “think twice about coming back.”
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Miranda Anthistle