Health inspectors return to Baybrook Mall over rat sightings

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas (KTRK) -- Health inspectors were back at Baybrook Mall today after rats were found in the food court area.

New video you'll only see on ABC13 shows a family's close encounter with rodents in the mall's food court.

The family who took the most recent video says they won't be back to eat anytime soon.

"As I turned my head I saw it, on top of the thing and I freaked out," Kirsty Beatty said.

Beatty says she and her husband love finding deals at Baybrook Mall.

On Wednesday while searching for shoes, they found much more.

"The rat walked around the beam and out of my view, so I stopped filming and then another one crawled down," Beatty said.

Video posted to her Facebook was shared thousands of times by people who are shocked and concerned, but Beatty says a mall worker who saw the rats firsthand did nothing.

"There was an older woman who was cleaning the tables and she just looked up at it like she had seen it every day and she just continued about her business like that wasn't her problem," she said.

Baybrook Mall's PR firm sent ABC13 a statement, saying, "We are aware and have taken immediate action to handle the situation. We've been working closely with the City of Houston Health Department to ensure Baybrook Mall is a clean, safe environment."

The health department says they were first notified of a problem through another video back on May 15.

Inspectors say the rats came from unused equipment stored in a back hallway shared by all the food vendors.

During their inspection today, the city says they found no signs of rat urine or feces, and say that old equipment was removed.

They did find a hole in the ceiling and we're told the mall will now be installing cameras to watch for rat movement.

"I mean if there's one there then chances are there are more of them there, so not really looking forward to going back," Jonathan Vasquez said.

The city also tells us they have met with each food vendor here individually, instructing them to get a pest control company out at the mall.

The mall has also expanded their pest control methods by using bait boxes.

Health inspectors will be back next week for another follow up.

Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.