Rodents Shut Down Cafeteria in Pennsylvania Capitol

Health inspectors found evidence of a rodent infestation and dishwashing water that wasn't hot enough.

December 21, 2009

HARRISBURG, Pa.  — The cafeteria in Pennsylvania's Capitol was shut down and workers scoured the facility Friday after health inspectors found evidence of a rodent infestation and dishwashing water that wasn't hot enough.

The ground-floor cafeteria, a popular coffee and lunch spot for visitors to the statehouse and people who work there, was closed Thursday after state Department of Agriculture officials made an unannounced inspection.

"There were mouse droppings around the facility too numerous to mention," said Justin Fleming, a spokesman for the state Agriculture Department.

The droppings, which indicate the presence of live mice, are considered an imminent health risk, Fleming said. A leak that prevented the water in dishwashers from becoming hot enough to sterilize plates and utensils also was considered an imminent threat, he said.

The cafeteria had not been inspected for "at least a couple years," Fleming said.

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Source: LA Times