Mouse infestation hit Langley hospital’s kitchens

Droppings and urine were found by Fraser Health inspectors in the spring

A mouse infestation left droppings in the kitchens of Langley Memorial Hospital this spring, according to Fraser Health’s own food safety inspection reports.

The problem was first noted in November of 2018, when inspectors found a “few mouse droppings in the NE [north east] corner of the receiving area.”

The report said corrective action had to be taken, including a pest control contractor to be called in, repairing weather stripping under the outer door to prevent mice getting in, and a thorough cleaning.

Six months later, the next routine inspection found the situation had only gotten worse.

“Evidence of mouse infestation (mice droppings and urine) noticed in the following areas of the kitchen,” the health report says.

By now the mice were near the loading dock, under dry storage shelving, and along the walls in some storage areas and near a decommissioned walk-in cooler.

“Note: pest monitoring logs from the pest control contractor indicated ‘no activity’ on its recent inspection report,” said the food safety report.

The report found there were gaps under the loading bay doors and in the main receiving doors near the hospital mail room, inadequate weather stripping at the Rosewood and Marwood facilities, a hole was found in drywall and an open pipe in the decommissioned cooler offered a potential home for rodents.

In addition, there was a build-up of food debris and beverage spills in some areas and sanitizers were being used improperly.

The hazard rating for the LMH kitchens was rated as 36. The report notes anything over 30 is a high hazard rating.

A follow-up inspection two days later found that many of the immediate risks had been dealt with. A list of 10 specific changes were handed down that had to be completed within a few days to two weeks, including adding more bait stations, removing anything nearby that could harbour rodents, replacing weather stripping on loading dock doors, and cleaning up dust.

“Mice droppings were still visible underneath shelving and other hard-to-reach areas,” the report noted.

However, the report found the overall risk was now low.

A Fraser Health spokesperson said licensing officers take the safety and well-being of people very seriously.

“Immediate action was taken to resolve the problem and a follow-up inspection occurred two days later,” said a statement from Fraser Health. “The licensing officers were satisfied appropriate actions were taken and the kitchen’s hazard rating returned to ‘low.’”

There was no impact on the safety of the food being served, Fraser Health said.

Appropriate control measures are continuing, the spokesperson said.

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