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Cockroach infestations sometimes occur within schools, hospitals, colleges, military bases, definitely restaurants and anywhere else that contains large amounts of food. When cockroaches infest a school, the question of whether or not the invading insects infested the cafeteria is the first thought that comes to the minds of students, teachers and parents. Determining which food sources have become contaminated with, or even exposed to, cockroaches is a tough job, but in many infestation cases in cafeterias, every last bit of food is thrown out as a safety measure. Although some may consider this a waste, cockroaches are particularly filthy insects that are known to spread serious disease-causing germs. During the winter of 2015, the Merrimack College cafeteria in North Andover, Massachusetts was forced to close by government inspectors due to an extensive cockroach infestation within the kitchen area.

Inspectors decided to investigate a possible insect infestation within the college’s cafeteria after receiving a complaint. Upon inspection, it was immediately clear that the cafeteria had developed a roach infestation, which kept the cafeteria closed for several days while cleaning crews sanitized the area. Pest control professionals also worked tirelessly to rid the cafeteria of all insect pests, most of which were cockroaches. Shortly before the Board of Health received an anonymous complaint concerning the cockroach presence in the cafeteria, a spokesperson for the college’s food distributor, Suxedo, informed college officials of a possible pest issue in the student dining hall. After news of the infestation broke, a meeting was held between students, college officials and members of the public, many of whom were parents of students. The group made alternate plans to feed the students and an email was sent to students informing them of a “potential pest issue” within the cafeteria, but cockroaches were not mentioned. The infestation also resulted in the closing of a smaller nearby kitchen and bakery. For a few days, students congregated outside on campus in order to eat grilled food products. Pest controllers successfully eradicated the roaches by applying an insecticide gel within the kitchen cafeteria.

Have you ever found bugs within your school food?