Westlake High Cafeteria Closed Down by Rodent Infestation
County environmental health inspected the site Tuesday and suspended its license until the problems could be resolved. The cafeteria was closed Wednesday and has remained shuttered as staff correct the issues, said, Superintendent Jeffrey Baarstad of the Conejo Valley Unified School District.
In the meantime, the county OK'd the school serving prepackaged food on the quad. That food is prepared in the district's central kitchen.
"We've been aware of the problem," Baarstad said. Over the past week and a half, the school used exterminators and worked to stop rodents from getting inside the building but wasn't able to fix the problem in time.
The issue likely stems from extensive renovation work on the large building that houses the cafeteria, kitchen and theater, along with the site's proximity to a barranca and the hillside. Rodents can squeeze in any gap or hole left unsealed — even if it's just the size of a quarter, Baarstad said.
Maintenance staff at the school are working to seal any holes, exterminators are getting rid of rodents already inside and cleaning crews also are working on the site, according to the district.
Baarstad hopes to be ready for inspection as early as Monday. With an OK from the county, the cafeteria could reopen by Tuesday.
The environmental health agency inspects about 4,000 food facilities throughout the county, including restaurants, markets, produce stands and more, said Elizabeth Huff, manager of the community services section of environmental health. School cafeterias are inspected two to three times a year to make sure they are in compliance.
Westlake High sent letters home with students on Wednesday to let them know about the closure.
"It's certainly not the letter you want to write home to parents," Baarstad said. But there were reasons why it happened, and the district is working to make sure all issues are cleared up, he said.
Source = vcstar.com
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