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The Central Board of Health has given First Choice Foods a deadline to deal with the pungent smell apparently emerging from the supermarket’s gutters.

Chief Health Inspector Sharon Martin gave manager Victor Michael 14 days to start taking steps towards eliminating the odour, said to emanate from liquid waste produced by the Anchorage Road store.

For years, customers and residents in the neighbouring communities of Yorks and Old Runway have been complaining about the stench.

A two-inch PVC pipe, the warning letter said, was emptying contents from the supermarket into an open mud drain on the southern side of the main road. That drain borders the two residential areas.

A resident of Yorks told Observer that while the smell does not affect him at home “when you venture anywhere near First Choice if you are coming around that curve, maybe going to Sandals or to the beach, it definitely is going to hit you, it is definitely going to overwhelm you…even with A/C on you are subject to get a whiff of it.”

He added that people know that “when you pass around First Choice to take a deep breath or stop up your nose or something”.

Another individual who lives closer to the supermarket said that the smell is sometimes unbearable to the point where she has to “keep locked in”.

She said that she hopes that the matter will be addressed in short order “for my sake and the sake of others in the area”.

In the missive, Martin said she had a face-to-face discussion with the manager two months ago about what she termed “the daily incessant flow of untreated effluent”.

It was followed by a detailed inspection that revealed “an accumulation of stagnant water”, extremely black in colour which the CBH likened to a cesspool.

They deduced that discoloration of the water was as a result of continuous deposition of untreated waste liquid and build-up of anaerobic bacteria.

Martin said the smell is so bad that she has received several complaints and threats to protest outside her office from residents, visitors and passers-by who traverse Anchorage Road.

Michael has 14 days from the receipt of the letter to either find a way to absorb the fluids daily, set up storage holding tanks for the waste water or install a sewage treatment plant.

The Chief Health Inspector said the situation is a nuisance to the environment as outlined in the country’s Public Health Nuisance Act.

Martin confirmed to Observer that the letter was written by her but declined to comment further at this time. Meanwhile, the owner of the Anchorage Road supermarket says he is yet to receive said letter and is therefore unable to comment on the matter. 

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