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Considering the amount of meals prepared within any popular restaurant on an average day, it is easy to understand how difficult it must be to keep restaurant kitchens from becoming soiled with random food ingredients. Obviously, these conditions explain why scavenging cockroaches are regularly spotted within restaurant kitchens, but patrons typically assume that extreme measures are taken to prevent cockroaches from entering restaurant kitchens whenever they are spotted. Unfortunately, when it comes to cockroach control within restaurant kitchens, some managers are more vigilant than others.

Some of your favorite restaurants could secretly have chronic roach-control issues. As it happens, several popular Boston-area restaurants have been documented as having repeat roach infestations despite maintaining an “A” grade. In addition to restaurants, investigators have uncovered numerous roach infestations that have occured within University cafeterias located in Massachusetts. In many of these cases, efforts were made to keep the insect infestations from the public.

Investigative reporters have found that several Boston restaurants continued to have cockroach control issues even after being reopened following a mandatory closing for health code violations. Almost all of these restaurants were advertised as having “A” grades in spite of the insect pest issues. For example, one investigator literally found a cockroach skittering across a food counter within a popular Chinatown restaurant that sported an “A” grade. Another inspection report revealed that a highly regarded Boston restaurant had a serious infestation that consisted of roaches on the ceiling, mop handles, and even in sauces that were to be served to patrons.

Following the well-publicized cockroach infestation that had been found in a Merrimack College cafeteria in Andover four years ago, investigative reporters attempted to find other school cafeterias with secret roach issues. The reporters found plenty of violations while looking at past records. For example, inspectors found an insect infestation in Framingham State University that had been serious enough to potentially cause foodborne illness. One violation consisted of numerous flies found within a salad prep area. Flies and roaches were also reportedly found near food within a kitchen at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The roaches were found still alive below a salad bar and the flies were found within and around kitchen cabinets. So the next time you go out to eat, you may want to check your favorite restaurant’s history of insect pest violations first.

Will you continue to eat out without worrying about insect infestations within restaurant kitchens?