Rodents at Kadena commissary part of larger infestation, DeCA official says
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – Kadena Air Base’s commissary is using traps, inspections and preventative measures to combat a rodent problem, Defense Commissary Agency officials said Tuesday.
The issue arose late last week after photos appeared on social media showing a rodent inside the store. The images caused a stir around the island, which is home to about 30,000 U.S. troops.
DeCA officials said the base’s pest-control department is looking into the matter, and the agency is doing its best to ensure food safety.
“We are aware of the problem at the Kadena Air Base Commissary, and store management is working with base entomology to address the problem,” DeCA spokeswoman Nancy O’Nell wrote in a statement to Stars and Stripes. The rodents are part of a larger infestation in areas and buildings surrounding the commissary, she said.
“More than any other time of year, winter is a period when rodents take refuge inside of buildings … [DeCA] has high standards for food safety and we take any threats to the safety of our products in the commissary seriously. Keeping the food we sell safe is our most important mission.”
Each commissary has a sanitation coordinator who manages food-safety efforts and a strict sanitation protocol, O’Nell said. U.S. Army Veterinary Command or Air Force Public Health inspectors also make unannounced visits and inspections.
Army Lt. Col. Alisa Wilma, DeCA’s director of public health and safety, was scheduled to visit to Kadena’s commissary this week.