Asbestos found in local grocery store

County Market in Mexico, Mo., currently under renovations

MEXICO, Mo. - Tests came back positive for asbestos at a grocery store in Mexico, Mo., and most items can not be sold until a food safety plan is in place.

Officials are pulling all of the food, drugs and cosmetics at the County Market at 500 W. Jackson St. The store is currently under renovation.

The Audrain County Health Department got a complaint on October 30 from a person concerned about asbestos in floor tiles being removed from the store.

The county health office immediately called the Missouri Department of National Resources, which took samples. Floor tiles came back positive for asbestos, but air tests were negative.

Officials have placed an embargo on most products, which means they can not be sold, moved or taken anywhere until a plan is complete on resolving all safety concerns.

"This is what we're talking about here is gross contamination throughout the store there is dust on all the product we have to take that seriously because we're here to protect the public," Audrain County Health Department Administrator Kevin Lowrance said.

An emergency operations center is set up for any public questions. It is open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, available at (573) 581-1332.

Customers are urged to wash all their fruits and vegetables and use a wet rag to wash dust off before opening any packaging.

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